NY Public Library Encouraging Kids to Download Books on Instagram When Research Says Blue Light From Screens Can Cause Blindness and Excessive Screen Use Causes Mental Health Issues and More

By B.N. Frank

It’s bad enough that Sesame Street has a character named “Smartie the Smart Phone.”

Now The New York Public Library seems to think the answer to getting kids to read is by putting books on Instagram:

The new service, dubbed “Insta Novels,” will be available to all Instagram users starting Wednesday, regardless of whether they have a NYPL card or live in New York City  […]

The technology works in such a way that when readers are on the Instagram app, they hold the page of a book by resting their thumb on the screen, library officials said. They turn the page by lifting their thumb.

The experience is “unmistakably like reading a paperback novel,” Corinna Falusi, Mother in New York’s partner and chief creative officer, said in a statement.

How is the experience “unmistakably like reading a paperback novel” when exposure to blue light from screens can cause all kinds of health issues including insomnia and blindness?

For many years, The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended limits for children’s screen use and reducing their exposure to harmful RadioFrequency (RF) Radiation.

Many other experts have recommended this as well.  In February, CBSNews.com listed “Encouraging Kids to Use Cell Phones” as Number 3 of their “8 Dumb Things to Boost Possible Cancer Risk.”. More recently, American Cancer Society chief medical officer referred to results from a U.S. government study on cell phone radiation as a “game changer. 

There are documentaries about excessive tech use and exposure harming children.  Dr. Jean Twenge, author of iGen stated in regard to kids and screens:  “We’re on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades.”

So why is The New York Public Library encouraging kids to use screens even when they aren’t in school AND when experts have stated that we should be reducing the amount of time kids use screens even for school work because it’s reducing their ability to learn

For the last 10 years, educators and many others overseas have been proactive in trying to reduce screen use and RF exposure in children.

Wouldn’t it be great if The New York Public Library encouraged kids to read actual books while using incandescent light bulbs instead?

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