Phones have become an inseparable and integral part of our life.
That is true for you as well as me. The problem is that we are using our phones these days for almost each and everything.
Even when you want to read the book, you try to get an e-book version. That is because you can read it from your smartphone.
The question is, is reading on your phone bad?
Only when you know the answer to the same you can decide whether you should stick to reading on your phone or not. I will answer this question below and couple it up with the necessary information to choose accordingly.
Is reading on your phone bad?
Reading on your phone isn’t beneficial, especially for your eyes. The screen is usually too small, the font makes you strain your eyes, and it’s relatively easy to get distracted. Because of that it is recommended to use an e-book reader instead.
While these are the primary reasons to avoid reading on your phone, they are not the only ones. I will go into the details of all these reasons below.
Why reading on your phone is bad?
There are reasons why you need to avoid reading on your phone. You can go through all of them below.
1. Small screen
The number 1 reason you need to avoid reading on your phone is the small screen. Even if you have the latest smartphone, the screen will likely be around 6 inches or 6.5 inches. Reading on such a screen can still be damaging to your eyes.
The small screen is one of the primary reasons why you should avoid reading on your phone.
2. Small font
When you look at your phone’s font size, you will realize that it is extremely small. With the same font size on your laptop or your desktop, you would, of course, increase it. However, seldom anyone visits the font setting of their smartphone to increase the font size.
I am guilty of the same as well. The small font sizes can certainly be damaging to your eye.5 Reasons Why Reading on Your Phone is the WORST Idea
You, as well as me, always carry our phones with us wherever we go. That is why, once you start reading on the phone, it can quickly become addictive. Due to the same, you will be reading non-stop.
Even when you read for a couple of hours on your phone, it can damage your eyesight. Imagine what will happen if you’re reading for 5 to 6 hours on your phone. It can downright reduce your vision and increase the need to use spectacles throughout the day.
The addictive nature of phone reading can also mean that you are wasting time that you would have otherwise invested in your job, career, or education. While reading is beneficial but addiction reading is not.
4. Diminishing concentration
When you’re using your phone to read, you are not likely to read the entire time. Chances are, there might be a notification pop-up within the 1st 10 minutes of reading.
Notification pop-ups are pretty difficult to ignore. You will soon divert from your e-book, and you will be reading your messages, emails, or social media feed.
Doing so means that you can easily concentrate on the reading part as well. Moreover, since you will be spending countless hours going through the feeds, emails, and messages, your concentration will diminish significantly.
Neither can you concentrate on reading nor will you focus on the work you were doing before that.
The diminishing concentration is one of the main reasons to avoid reading on the phone.
5. Affects your sleep cycle
Phones emit a significant amount of white light. The problem with white light is that it affects your sleep cycle.
Especially if you’re using your phone for reading after sunset, the white light will not let you have a sound sleep. The more exposure you have to white light, the lesser your probability of entering the deep sleep cycle. It is another reason to avoid reading on the phone.
There are numerous reasons why you should avoid reading on your phone. All these reasons ensure that you need to avoid reading on your phone strictly.
Still, if you want to go ahead and read on your phone, there are a few tips that you need to follow for the same. These will help you in protecting your eyes when you’re reading on the phone.
Do THIS to protect your eyes when reading on your phone
There are a few tips that can help you protect your eyes while reading on the phone, which include:
1. Adopt the 20/20/20 rule
The 20/20/20 rule will help you provide relief to your eyes even when you’re reading on your phone.
It states that once you are focusing on your phone for 20 minutes of reading, you have to look away from your phone screen then and observe something 20 feet away. You have to do so for at least 20 seconds. That is the 20/20/20 rule.
Adopting this regularly ensures that you can look after your eyes and not damage your eyesight as well.
2. Read in a well-lit room
Our phones emit a significant amount of white light. This white light’s effect is even more if you’re using your phone in a completely dark room. Unfortunately, you and I are all guilty of that. We all often use our phones in our bedroom in complete darkness.
If you want to protect your eyes while using the phone, you have to use it in a well-lit room. Only when you’re reading from your phone in a well-lit room, the effect of white light is limited.
3. Activate night mode
Android, as well as iOS devices, have night mode these days. Night modes are specifically designed to lower the amount of white light you are exposed to. Most people do not activate them even during the night.
If you really want to protect your eyes, you have to activate them throughout the day and night. It will ensure that the amount of white light that your phone emits is limited. Reading on your phone will become easier after you activate the night mode.
Fortunately, activating the night mode is relatively simple whether you’re using Android and iOS devices.
It is a tip that you shouldn’t ignore when you want to read from your phone.
4. Blink consistently
You might think, how can blinking help when you’re reading on the phone?
Blinking moisturizes your eyes. Not only that, it removes any of the dust, pollutants, and contaminants in your eyes. By doing so consistently, you can protect your eyes in a much better way.
One of the main reasons why phone damage the eyesight is because it dries out the eyes. Continuously using the phone without blinking means that your eyes will become dry. When they become dry, the chances of suffering from bad eyesight increase exponentially.
If you’re forcing your eyes to blink consistently, keeping them moisturized is easy. In turn, you can limit the damage as well.
5. Maintain distance from the phone screen
Keeping the phone close can also damage your eyesight. You have to make sure that at all times, the phone is at least 16 inches to 18 inches away from your eyes. Only then you can reduce the effect of white light.
Thus, if you want to use your phone for reading, these are the five ways to protect your eyesight. These might seem simple enough, but when you stick to these five tips, you can certainly protect your eyes.
I will now answer a few other questions which will help you decide whether you should read on the phone or not.
Is a Kindle or a tablet a better alternative?
Yes, reading on a Kindle or a tablet is certainly a better alternative.
The reason for the same is that these devices have bigger screens. Not only that, they offer you more customization options geared towards reading as well. Due to these reasons, these devices make better sense than reading on the phone.
If you really care about your eyes, consider audiobooks
If you want to go a step ahead and protect your eyes, it is a good idea to switch over to audiobooks. Audiobooks can help you do your bit for maintaining your eyesight. They can help you in multiple ways, which I will highlight below.
1. No screentime
Once you play the audiobook, there is no need for a screen. You can easily close your eyes and rest. You can focus on something else as well. It means that listening to an audiobook certainly reduces your screen time. When that happens, You will not have to worry about white light, small screen size, or small font at all.
That is why the number 1 thing you need to do to protect your eyes is to switch over to audiobooks.
2. Extremely convenient
Audiobooks are incredibly convenient as well. You can listen to audiobooks during the commute or even when you indulge in any other work.
It means that you can reduce the time you spend in front of your devices by listening to audiobooks. You can quickly increase your efficiency as well. The number of hours which you will spend in front of your devices will go down significantly. Increased efficiency will undoubtedly help you take care of your eyes in a much better way.
3. Quick book completion
Audiobooks take much less time as compared to physical books or even reading e-books. While reading an e-book can take you anywhere from 20 to 30 hours to complete a 300-page book, audiobooks can help you achieve the same in just 4 to 5 hours.
This even at average narration speed. If you increase the narration speed, the time which it will take is even lower.
Thus, even if you’re not able to take your eyes off the screen when the audiobook is playing, it will reduce your screen time since it is much faster.
As you can see, by switching over to audiobooks, you can certainly take better care of your eyes.
Reading on your phone is indeed bad for your eyes. As I have highlighted above, there are numerous reasons why you need to avoid that as much as possible. The perfect alternative to the same is to listen to audiobooks. Once you do so, you can have the same experience without damaging your eyes.