Don’t sit too close to the screen

Published 4:51 pm Thursday, July 24, 2008

When I was growing up, my parents and grandparents always warned me about sitting too close to the TV screen.

I don’t think this was ever a big problem for me, but it was a problem for other kids I knew. One of my younger cousins always sat on the floor right in front of the TV, and she didn’t seem to care about the consequences.

Since then, I’ve wondered just how bad the consequences really are.

A college friend of mine had vision problems from playing way too many video games. He openly admitted it, too, because he couldn’t deny how many hours he had spent sitting in the dark fighting off virtual aliens.

They also say not to watch TV in the dark, but every time we watched a movie in school, the first thing the teacher always did was hit the lights. Of course, it is annoying to see all those little white squares reflected in the TV screen when the lights are left on.

Regardless, my vision seems to be fine these days. I have never had to wear glasses, and I am thankful for that.

Of course, I am notorious for losing video games because I always spent more time playing outside than inside. The funny thing is, there are people my age who are more into video games than most kids are.

My generation is really the first to grow up in front of screens. I guess we will never truly know the consequences until we all become senior citizens.

Technology is great, but if we are not careful it can hurt us. Kids should be encouraged to participate in physical activity.

Try as they might, the video game companies can never match reality. All they will ever really do is give people carpal tunnel.

“Guitar Hero” is great, but it can never match the benefits and the discipline of actually learning guitar. Sports games can be somewhat interactive, but they will get old after a while.

Now, if I can only figure out some way to spend less time in front of the computer…

Note: Scott Mims is the news editor of The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Friday.