/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /
does screen time make you retarded?
33 replies
14 days old
last post: Jan 21, 2020

does screen time make you retarded?

1 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-08 04:03
I've noticed that my vision and attention span become drastically reduced after using my computer for any given amount of time. Same pplies to TV and phone, as well. The effects, for me, of using the interwebs is like using narcotics, wherein I seem to be hypnotically attached to my screen and the most inane of subjects become noteworthy and worth investigating.
Currently writing this from my Kindle, which is suffering, but at least I can read a book after, without my brain turning into figgy pudding. In short, I'd imagine that LED backlights are to blame. There iks no such thing as a free lunch.
2 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-08 04:15
I feel a little less alert and more dull, but not as much as you. Although if I've been on the computer for 8 hours and I start driving a car, sometimes I catch myself paying almost no attention, and it's scary.
3 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-08 04:51
I forgot to mention in my OP that I hadn't used any screentime at all for almost a year (while living as a NEET; highly recommended) which is why the contrast in my case might seem so drastic. I would recommend e-ink as the magic bullet solution though for those who are bothered by it, if you don't mind surrendering much of the practical utilities and pleasures that modern computers afford. Some people have taken apart IPS monitors and added incandescent backlights, but I can't personally testify to the efficacy of this. In any event, the mental lucidity that one benefits from quitting cold turkey (if possible, given your circumstnces) seems to be worth it.
4 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-08 08:24
Screen time hurts your eyes at worst. Maybe it's the content that makes you duller, or you have depression or ADD. Maybe you just surf too fast and multitask a lot, our brains don't function that well when we do that.
5 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-08 12:25
6 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-08 13:15
m8, I have neither adhd or 'depression', although I realize that psychiatry is a state religion wherever you may come from. i also am not sure if you're genuinely in denial about the effects of computers on the human brain, malicious in your intentions, or simply ignorant, (probably a mix of all three), but either way there are more detriments to using screen time than just becoming astigmatic.
Excessive temporal dithering, pulse-width modulation, and blue light in computers and phones all seem to contribute to what, at the very least might constitute an unhealthy dependency to our devices and what is, at worst, and most probably, a fundamental change in the way our brain processes and retains information. in my experience, the eye pain is more symptomatic than anything, in your brain trying to advise that it simply can't take it anymore.
staring at a direct-current light source (i.e. an incandescent bulb) for hours at a time is one thing and certainly contributes to eye strain, but staring at a waking nightmare of hypnotic rapidly-flashing lights and colors is another; and the latter seems to foster not only an eerie, quasi-idol-worshipping dependency (evident in just how many peope seem to scorn social contact for their phones), but also a fundamental change in how the brain processes and retains information, one that is ultimately dependant on, surprise, your computer.
7 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-08 14:12
staring at a waking nightmare of hypnotic rapidly-flashing lights and colors is another; and the latter seems to foster not only an eerie, quasi-idol-worshipping dependency
I don't see how looking at a monitor to edit a movie, record music, write a book, look at medical data, program a software, look at porn, shitpost on chans or browse Twitter is supposed to have the same effect on your brain. The issue is created by your habits and what you are looking at, not looking at a monitor that is displaying data or "computers" in general.
I am far from advising to go to a therapist willy-nilly, but it seems like your issues go beyond the simple use of computers and you're misdirecting the blame.
8 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-08 16:03
Multitasking is probably the biggest problem. I often will alt-tap between VSCode, some board I'm browsing, Discord, and perhaps a YT video several times per minute. That has really contributed to mental fatigue and dullness of using a computer.
9 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-08 22:28
What a line of horseshit you're peddling. I've given you several scientific reasons for why the platform of web browsing on LED-lit screens can have detrimental effects on one's health and your only response is that my web-browsing habits are to blame. Are you even listening to yourself? You seem to have a vehemently vested interest in discrediting what I say, without having a single reasonable arvgument to back up your claims.
My web-browsing habits consist of nothing more than reading a few Wiki articles and browsing Facebook (I mean I'm writing this from a textboard ffs), so that strawman really doesn't fly with me. Imlying that I'm crazy is about as a desperate ad-hominem attack as it gets, but to each his own, I guess. For posterity's sake though, and for whoever else may be reading this, I would find it to be a cause for concern that sokmeone would be willing to mislead people for something tht is so supposedly so harmless.
10 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-08 23:27
You don’t need to be so hostile about it. I don’t know about cognitive impairment, but excessive use of internet certainly turned you into a bitter, hostile person. I’m not the anon you were replying by the way.
11 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-09 01:10
so that strawman really doesn't fly with me.
Anon, I wasn't trying to put up a strawman or imply you are "crazy". I don't know you and you exposed a problem, so I offered a bunch of possibilities, that's why I said "maybe".
Then you wanted to argue that it's not just eye damage but the use of computers that make you dumb, to which I replied that since the possibilities with computers and types of content displayed by screens are so vast it seems strange to assume they all cause the same mental issues like addiction (which so far is proven to be caused by things like porn, social media, or videogames, the last two of which are addictive because they are designed to be so.)
You linked no scientific sources to back up your claims. Searching for articles about the effects of pulse-width modulation and temporal dithering on the brain gives me nothing (on DDG and SP at least) except for articles on eye strain, so I assumed your "maybe" and "probably" were just assumptions.
It's odd that you accuse me of ad-hominems when almost every statement you made was loaded with them.

Maybe reading those few Wiki articles and browsing Facebook and imageboards is unhealthy for you? I'm not sarcastic. Maybe you're burned out and you need some time offline. If you got bothered enough by it to make a post, it might be worth trying to take a few days off.
12 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-09 04:34
most monitors these days refresh their screens 60 times per second (aka a frequency of 60 hz). this is a good thing, as for most people, a screen refresh rate of 60 hz is enough for a screen to appear stable. which is to say, the screen should not have any noticeable flickering (which would be annoying!). this happens because near this frequency, the brain's visual processing center, the visual cortex, physically isn't fast enough to process such rapid visual information. if the refresh rate were below 60 hz, the visual cortex would have an easier time processing the flickering, as there would be a longer delay between each refresh. and for reference, the time between each refresh at 60 hz is about 17 msec.

but what if for you, the screen still seemed to flicker even at 60 hz? well, depending on how bad the flicker happens to be, the flicker itself would be only a minor annoyance, because after a certain amount of time, your brain would just get used to the flicker, causing a reduction in the flicker. this is similar to how we ignore seeing our nose, even though our nose happens to always be present in your vision...

but would the flicker itself cause any strange side effects, like the hypnotizing, attention-stealing effect you've been describing? well... something kind of like it, actually. since the human brain uses pulse-density modulation to synchronize the different parts of your brain. in this way, the human brain is sensitive to brainwave synchronization if presented with a periodic stimulus. since a brainwave with a frequency of 60 hz is a gamma wave, and gamma waves are associated with heightened attention spans and awareness, it's possible that by synchronizing your brain to gamma waves, you'll also experience these effects. but these effects i'm describing are contradictory with what you're describing.

also these effects would be minor at most, as 1) the human brain is most sensitive to gamma waves of 40 hz, 2) flickering has already been substantially reduced at a refresh rate of 60 hz, and so wouldn't be noticeable, and 3) brainwave synchronization would be isolated to the visual cortex, and would have less of an effect to other parts of the brain.

so at worst you'll probably get some fatigue and a possible headache if you stared at the screen after awhile. and what about your other issues? well, blue light from the screen doesn't harm your attention span... if you're using that time on the computer productively, it should actually boost it. and temporal dithering is just another form of noise. if the dithering is done right, at a high enough refresh rate, the brain shouldn't be able to interpret a noticeable pattern in the noise or notice the noise at all.

but if the monitor's refresh rate isn't the problem, then what's causing the problem for you? the simplest explanation, and probably the most probable, is that you've conditioned yourself to waste time on the computer, the tv, and your smartphone. in other words, a neural feedback loop in your brain caused by spending too much time on 4chan is what's causing you to lose focus

>>7, >>4, and >>11 are right
13 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-09 08:29
It might also just be the issue of just staring at the screen a short-distance away for a long time straining your eyes, which would then result in second-order effects that hurt attention span (hard to focus on things when your eyes are tired). This happens for me when I usually get caught up in a task and forget to take breaks, and at some point my eyes just lose the ability focus and it's hard for me to concentrate on things for the rest of the day.

Compared to a computer screen perhaps with the Kindle you're more likely to look up from time to time, giving your eyes a chance to fixate at a different distance. I'd try taking a 2 minute break every 15 minutes or so (get up, look at an object at a far distance, and blink) and see if that makes a difference.
14 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-09 09:13
I've been sitting at my computer literally on a daily basis since early 1996. I do have a slight attention span problem but it's not bad in the least compared to most. I can sit away from my computer and not feel a "withdrawl" also I don't use cell phones anymore. I stopped around 2014. I just never adapted to the addiction to anything mobile other than Game Boys and my PSP during my teenage years. My vision is still pretty good but it's just now starting to slowly get worse. But I expect that's with age vs screentime. My dad's eyesight started to get worse with his age so I'm expecting the same. Not saying it's bad but he eventually needed to get reading glasses once he hit his mid to late 50s. I do have a problem with skimming in certain threads throughout the internet. I guess that's more so to preserve time than a problem wtih my attention span as I can read an article or book just fine.
15 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-09 23:49
What you're talking about only applies to CRTs, which hardly anyone uses now.

It's not that people are conditining themselves through bad habits to damage their attention spans and waste their time, it's that they are unknowingly being conditioned by the internet to develop those bad habits. This problem was almost unheard of until the last ten years or so because the way we used the internet was so different.
16 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-10 03:22
I've been using CRTs on a regular basis for over 30 years. My eyes haven't suffered yet.
17 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-10 07:07
oh. uhh... it looks like you're right. i forgot lcd screens don't flicker the way crt screens do...

also i think it's possible for a person to use the internet without being conditioned into bad habits. but the person has to be disciplined enough to use that internet time productively.
hey, i still use crts too! and my eyes are also fine.
18 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-10 08:33
Like >>17 said, LCDs don't flicker like CRTs do.

It's possible, but it's an uphill battle and most people aren't even aware of what's happening. They think it's ADD or depression.
19 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-10 18:25
It's not that people are conditining themselves through bad habits to damage their attention spans and waste their time, it's that they are unknowingly being conditioned by the internet to develop those bad habits. This problem was almost unheard of until the last ten years or so because the way we used the internet was so different.

I think this is the root of the issue. There are companies with business models that require distraction to be profitable, and if they can shove an ad in your face potentially at any moment they're gonna take that opportunity and do so. That's why notification icons on smartphones are typically bright colors and you get dumb notifications about stuff you "might be interested in."
20 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-10 19:33
I'm extremely addicted to the internet. But I honestly am only happy when I'm online. I'd rather be immersed into the digital world than have anything to do with the real world. I don't need reality to be happy.
21 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-11 00:18
Yeah but I don't get brightly colored notifications for dumb stuff because I don't use those companies' services. This is a bit of a chicken and egg argument, which one comes first? Everyone knows that the internet is largely a dumb time sink. TV is largely a dumb time sink as well, but nothing prevents you from tuning in at the time where the show you're interested in starts, and turning it off when it ends. If you end up on the addictive side of the internet and find your reward centers exploited for profit, you should only blame yourself. We've all been there. Blaming "computers" is silly because there are many great uses for technology and the internet that are not addictive and brain-destroying by design.
22 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-11 18:58
Why is it that every time this issue is brought up there's always that one guy who is super insistent that there's no problem? It's starting to get suspicious.
23 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-11 20:58
He didn't say there wasn't a problem, he just said it wasn't necessarily computers themselves that are causing it.
24 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-11 23:01
what issues do you have with the internet?
25 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-12 09:44
Which is to say that he is denying the problem, since it is specifically caused by computers.

Read the thread.
26 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-12 19:23
stop spreading misinformation
read >>12. but since lcds don't flicker the way crts do, your problem probably stems from a neural feedback loop caused by browsing too much 4chan, and not your monitor.

(also, why is this thread even in the post office? OP is probably overly paranoid or a crank, and this had led to a very uncomfy discussion...)
27 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-13 17:55
Stop being a fucking shill for the tech industry, or better yet just neck yourself you piece of shit.

Every fucking imageboard is exactly the fucking same with these same fucking bullshit shill posts.
28 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-13 17:56
Stop being a fucking shill for the tech industry, or better yet just neck yourself you piece of shit.

Every fucking imageboard is exactly the fucking same with these same fucking bullshit shill posts.
29 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-13 22:11
There is such a thing as mentioning multiple posts in a single reply. No need to act this way, anon.
30 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-14 11:40
I have this too but I don't think it has to do with the hardware.
When on the PC, I consume so much information, heck even for my work I must spend many hours behind the screen, deciphering what's going on and endless reading strings of text that don't make sense to humans, that aren't intended for humans.
And then the countless of messages of people, the overload of useless information that I blast on my retinas, it tires me out.

But I can't stop. It's part of my life. I wish my life was more tangible but I don't know how I could make the change I desire.
31 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-18 10:26

Bro, chill. This reads like a shooter's manifesto, and I doubt anyone here even has any tangible worth as a shill for anyone. You're just being a douche.
32 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-21 11:44
The huge amount of short, superficial, unnecessary information you receive from the internet affects important capacities such as long-term memory, attention span etc. Your lack of restraint (such as uncontrolled usage of the internet) is also responsible for that.
What has worked for me is reserving a certain part of the day for the internet (e.g. 2 hours a day, from 7 to 9 A.M.) and limiting its usage on the rest of the day only for what is necessary, such as messaging wife and parents or getting directions on Maps.
33 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-22 10:26
I probably experience at least 13-14 hours of screen time a day.


/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /