We’ve become slaves to our digital masters. Think how much time we all spend in front of screens, be it our iPhones, computers or television sets. We no longer seem to want to interact directly, face to face with each other, the animals that inhabit this glorious planet or the bounty of natural beauty that soothes our souls if only we’d take the time to notice. We live our lives by proxy, the screen being the interface by which we engage with the world. Our DNA is geared to living outdoors and cohabiting with our fellow humans and the surrounds of our natural environment. We need exposure to natural light to regulate our sleep wake cycle which is vital for our wellbeing. Not enough sleep can have crippling effects on our brain setting us up for the premature development of dementia. We spend most of our day shrouded in a fog of artificial light. The results of this could be catastrophic for our nervous systems, in other words our emotional welfare and our cognitive function.
Studies on children show that exposure to more than two hours of blue light daily adversely affects language and memory. Subjecting fruit files which share much of our genetic ancestry to a constant barrage of blue light leads to neurodegeneration and accelerated ageing. Some but not all studies indicate that blue light exposure can lead to behaviours which suggest depression in rats.
To salvage our besieged brains we might have to find a way to liberate ourselves from our digital enslavement, at least for a certain percentage of our average day.