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Some Scientists Believe Loneliness is Becoming an Epidemic
Loneliness isn't just for the elderly, more adults 18 to 24 report these feelings of isolation, which make people depressed, stand-offish, and untrustworthy. So, how can you cure the lonely?
More and more adults report feeling lonely. It's not just the elderly, but younger adults 18 to 24 that are reporting these feelings of isolation. John Cacioppo and Stephanie Cacioppo from New Scientist write that loneliness is becoming a modern epidemic, even when we're more connected than ever, these thoughts of being alone together are breaking us down.
Humans are social creatures--we thrive in groups and decline when we're alone for too long, often becoming depressed. But the Cacioppos explain that loneliness doesn't just mean being physically alone, it can also mean feeling like you're on the social perimeter of a group.
In nature, fish on the edge of the school are more likely to be attacked by predators, so their sense of self-preservation heightens. When placed in isolated situations, social animals switch their behavior to concentrate on short-term survival. But this alteration in thinking comes at the cost of long-term health if this behavior persists without resolve.
People can become socially withdrawn over time, which can make them hostile toward others. Risk of cognitive decline increases in addition to impulsive behavior. This behavior is leftover from our ancestors in the days when tribes and groups meant success or death. But in our modern society, these old psychological triggers stop some of us from thriving in bigger cities and communities where we're more apt to feel alone in a crowd.
The Cacioppos report that therapies to reduce these feelings have had little effect on people's isolated states. However, one intervention study that focused on having participants talk through their feelings of low self-worth and untrustworthy thoughts toward others held the most promise. Whereas classes involving social training with opportunities to meet people were actually the least effective.
"Given the scale of the problem today, the hunt for better treatments of all types deserves high priority."
Loneliness has become a real threat to our health. Some scientists have begun to compare the threats to that of moderate smoking and alcoholism. There are many options to help combat loneliness, in real time or over the internet.
Read more at New Scientist
Read more at Psych Central
Photo Credit: Geraint Rowland/Flickr
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.