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A Real Eyesore: iPads Worth Eyestrain?



   From first waking up to finally collapsing into bed, teenagers are using technology. We set alarms on our phones to make
that eight o’clock bell. We text between classes and send selfies at the speed of
light. We are dedicated to cataloguing
our lives in chunks 140 characters long.
And we compose essays with access to
the whole of human knowledge just a
few clicks away.

   More than halfway into Pinewood’s first year as an “iPad school,” it now seems that
everyone takes the tablets for granted. The student body accepted the technology as
a whole and everyone is getting used to having their iPads on them
all the time. Teachers are encouraging students to interact with the technology during almost every class, even
if it’s just to read from the textbook. Now almost every piece of homework and study material is available through the iPad.
This is quite convenient, but there can be pretty serious negative effects, and warnings about these effects have been circulating for
some time.

   Eye strain plagues everyone. It’s caused by staring at a glowing screen for hours at a time, something that Pinewood students are required to do. We constantly access information through technology, making this a real threat. The effect is due to the straining of your eye muscles, which can be caused by a screen being close to your face. The long term effects are headaches and
vision impairment.

   Thankfully, avoiding eye strain is not
difficult. Moving monitors farther from
your seat often lessens the effect. Because the light from computer and tablet screens
is a factor in eye fatigue, sometimes just
reducing the brightness of your screen
in dimly lit rooms can help. If possible, try reducing the blue light put off by
your screen. Extended periods of staring
at blue light has been linked to sleep deprivation. Most importantly, take breaks.
Your eyes always need some time to relax after focusing at the same distance for extended periods of time.

   The drawbacks don’t end there; iPads
can also limit reading comprehension.
Studies have shown that students
recall more information from “traditional books” than tablets. However, this isn’t to
say that students will
necessarily fall behind when reading textbooks or literature on iPads; teachers merely need
to reexamine how they teach from iPads. Students as a whole can still use tablets effectively.

   Both of these problems with iPads, and technology overall, can be fixed with a little work. The iPad program has been working well for Pinewood as a whole, but it’s
still important for students
to be mindful of setbacks.