I don’t know about the rest of you but when I was growing up I was constantly getting yelled at by my parents and grandparents to not sit so close to the TV, because it, in their words, “will ruin your eyes”. It occurred to me, as I was watching my son stand inches away from the TV screen in order to really see Grover dancing with Cookie Monster, that I don’t hear parents say this anymore.  It honestly didn’t occur to me to say it either, but watching Chance wriggle up on the TV like a puppy stalking a ball brought back the memory of the many times I felt a hand grab me by the shoulder and yank me back from the set with the old parental mantra ringing in my ears.  “Don’t sit so close! You’ll ruin your eyes!”

Why did they say this?  Did TVs, back in the day of vacuum tubes, really have the potential to rot out your eyes?  Were they potentially cancerous weapons of entertainment?  Or was it an old-wives-tale born out of a fear of the “new” technology?  My grandfather actually repaired TVs (as well as having worked in the labs when they were developing nuclear weapons) so you’d think that he would know, right?  Except I seem to recall it was always my grandmother who told me not to sit in front of the TV.

I kind of assumed that it just wasn’t true, that they were overreacting, but now I wonder.  Anyway, did any of you hear this too?  Are you letting your kids sit close to the TV? 

              – the weirdgirl