So you’re browsing along, reading a bunch of text against a white(-ish?) background, and sometimes, it’s a bunch
of text. So your eyeballs have been focused on that bright screen for a good while.
That’s no good. Your eyeballs, resilient and beautiful though they are, need a break! As time marches on, more and more of our everyday lives require us to plummet face-first into the digital world – and no, not the one where you get a rad Digimon partner that’s half-squid, half-recliner. Some of you may have already spent 8 hours looking at a computer screen at work, and now you’re here, reading this garbage for cod knows how long! That’s a lot of screen time!
This isn’t just me attempting to nurture delicious eyeballs for a snack, either! Research on this topic started decades ago when computers became more common in the workplace, and the consensus is that your eyeballs are not impervious to the enchanting glow of the electronic screen.
Don’t worry – as long as Gear doesn’t start posting photos of me, you’re not going to go blind reading this site. If you’re reading for a while, you might find your eyes feeling a little dry. Maybe you’ll have difficulty focusing, or you might even get a little bit of a headache. That’s just the eyestrain – your eyes are tired from working so hard!
For now, there’s no evidence that any permanent damage will occur from excessive screen-look-upon-age, but it still sucks. What can you do? Most health pros recommend simply looking away from the screen for a little while to rest the ol’ oculars. The 20-20-20 rules suggests: every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. For those wondering what the heck ‘foot’ is supposed to mean: that’s about 6 meters.
… yeah, nobody does that. What, are you supposed to have a timer go off every 20 minutes while you’re trying to sort cat pictures?! If you can handle that, we salute you. I would be driven to murder within 19 minutes.
That’s where the friendly ‘eyecatch’ banners come in! Been reading a while? Here’s a visual reminder to take a break! It’s about half-way through the comparison, and it’ll all be there when you get back. Your eyes can have a little time away from the screen, and you can grab a snack or perhaps a refreshing beverage. Sounds pretty nice to me!
You don’t have to, of course. It’s not like I’m going to find out. The eyecatches are just there to be a visual cue – something to give you a stopping point, and you’ll know exactly where you left off when you come back.
There are other things you could do to alleviate eyestrain, but that has nothing to do with catches of any kind, so screw ’em. Well, don’t screw ’em, but I’m not going into that here. Enjoy your eyeballs!