We've all grown up thinking that sitting too close to the television is damaging to our eyes ... but that might not be the case.
Technology spawns lots of confusion ... and a few affectionately titled old wives tales.
According to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, close-sitters are fine. They're not hurting themselves in the least. The myth of sitting too close to the television likely spawned from some faulty GE television sets in the 1960s. With tube televisions, an electron gun draws the picture on the back of phosphorus coated glass, and vacuum tubes help support the electronics.
Unfortunately, it came to light that some GE television sets were emitting more X-rays through the vents in the front of the unit than they should. The units were recalled and fixed quickly, but the myth still exists.
Maybe it's pervasive because people watch TV in the dark? Turns out, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, that's not going to harm you either. Generations of humans used to do EVERYTHING by candlelight, firelight or moonlight. Bright rooms are a relatively recent invention, and though you can read or watch TV for longer, the real concern for close-sitters and dark-watchers is added eye strain.
Eye strain is a natural part of using your eyes a lot. While reading or watching TV your eyes are moving to take everything in and that causes them to tire out. Eye strain isn't damaging, but tired eyes DO need rest, so to avoid the weariness give them a break every 20 minutes and look at something far away. This goes for computers and smartphones too.
Seriously people, holding phones and laptops inches from your face is bad. Your eyes would like a break, please.
Many parents saw their kids sitting close to a television and then, when they ended up with glasses, made a false link without scientific testing. This happened to many kids, and since they likely needed glasses in the first place, they sat closer to the TV.