The blame lies with dependence on the tiny screen of our smartphones. How could we humans be expected to spend hours per day peering desperately into the 3-by-4-inch monitor without some negative impact on our vision? With tiny, tiny print and all-too-much information jam-packed into its alluring interactive screen, some of us have become dependent on the reminders, messages and news that arrive throughout the day. Yet whatever the reason for our collective and growing addiction, I hold it to account for my ever-diminishing acuity of vision. When complaining about it, my less tactful friends will point out that for decades, I’ve awakened in the morning instantly able to see both near and far without assistance. And even as peers have succumbed to glasses, contacts or surgery, I’ve lived blissfully unaware of these challenges.
Given a few moments (and thankful my arms are as long as they are), I am able to bring into focus the bright blue screen audibly notifying me of a call – or text – or update – I’m not really sure, but as soon as I get the phone in the right place, it comes into focus and quick, appropriate response follows! But even as our mechanical vision blurs, does the clarity in which we see the world improve? In youth, each and every matter would appear, be identified and dispatched without much consideration. Only later did we realize how poorly we had perceived the situation – how bad our vision really was. Bad career choice. Bad family decisions. Perhaps, even the wrong spouse. But as life has progressed, doesn’t our vision measurably improve? Isn’t our perspective enhanced by life already lived? So even if glasses are inevitable, can’t we rest comfortably in the fact we have a clearer vision now than ever before?