What if we could see three times better than 20/20?
That’s what Ocumetrics claims is an imminent possibility. The Canadian research corporation is on the cusp of developing a bionic lens that could soon render prescription glasses and contact lenses obsolete. With a procedure similar to cataract surgery, people will be able to see far better than they ever could as their natural lens is replaced with this new invention from Ocumetrics. This will undoubtedly change the human experience as life will be seen in greater detail and from greater distances.Naturally, this brings about the question: How will this change the way we look at ourselves and each other?
On the surface, improved vision is a great technological advancement. Impaired vision affects the lives of billions; a breakthrough of this magnitude could increase the quality of life for many on a scale like that of the Internet. But what about the social consequences of being able to see in greater detail than ever before? In today’s high-definition world, how will seeing human “imperfections” more easily and in greater detail affect our sense of aesthetics?
We see ourselves in the mirror every day. We interact with normal people constantly. On the bell curve of human beauty, a 5 out of 10 is the median. The media, however, is a different animal altogether. The people in television, movies, and advertisements are attractive, having a sex appeal that is above that of the average person we encounter daily. CGI, Photoshop, and mobile filters serve to enhance their attractiveness even more; this has created a skewed perception in our minds of our standards of beauty. Should women strive to look like a Victoria’s Secret model and men like those in Calvin Klein ads?
Admittedly, this affects even yours truly. The gap between the “beautiful” people on billboards and Instagram and the everyday normal bloke is growing so much, in fact, that I can’t help but think the median is more like a 4 than a 5 out of 10. The normals are becoming less attractive. How can this be? Is the epidemic of obesity dominating the other side of low-carb diets and Crossfit to this extent? Is the human race evolving towards ugliness?
The truth is, most of us don’t have flawless skin or six-pack abs. Hair loss is real, and our skin will start to wrinkle and loosen up over time (of course, we can do our due-diligence when it comes to preventative measures, like Gwen Stefani).
Here’s the real problem: The things we see on the screen influence our views, and there are more screens in our lives than ever before. Computers, laptops, TV’s, phones, and iPads are giving us access anytime and anyplace. Instagram has birthed thirst-trapping, and everyone seems to be thirsty these days. Of course, porn is everywhere too, and are we all perfectly groomed with zero body fat? (I just looked in the mirror, confirming the answer is a big No)
Having better vision will be great, but only if we’ll see things the right way. We don’t need Ocumetrics to do that.