Back in the days of now which are to you, way in the future, the days of yesteryear, we had a low tolerance for excessive words appearing in large blocks together. You may have noticed a large difference between the books of now with their short sentences, brief paragraphs and a sparsity of complex words and the books of, say, 100 years before now with their long sentences, multisyllabic words and long paragraphs that sometimes span several pages.
So, as a result of our low tolerance for all those words, we created what we refer to as “white space.”. It breaks up long passages, it allows us to leave large swaths of the page blank. This is considered a graphic element, and argued as a means of making passages easier on the eyes. It’s also easier on the brain, as it means far less stuff we have to come up with to fill the page. Out of ideas? No problem–just leave a bunch of blank space and call it “whitespace.” Designers will nod in approval and readers will be grateful they need only read half a page of text rather than a whole page.
Because reading is hard. So is writing. I need a break, so enjoy some more “whitespace.”