"Interacting" with nature through virtual reality applications had especially strong benefits, according to the study.
- Previous studies have shown that spending time in nature can lead to a variety of mental and physical health benefits.
- The new study involved exposing people to a high-definition nature program through one of three mediums: TV, VR and interactive VR.
- The results suggest that nature programs may be an easy and effective way to give people a "dose" of nature, which may be especially helpful during pandemic lockdowns.
Credit: Yeo et al.<p>The results showed that watching the nature program under all three conditions lowered negative affect, including emotions like boredom and sadness. But only the group who experienced the program in interactive VR reported a boost in mood, and feelings of being more connected to nature.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Our results show that simply watching nature on TV can help to lift people's mood and combat boredom," lead researcher Nicky Yeo <a href="https://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/research/title_821333_en.html" target="_blank">told</a> University of Exeter News. "With people around the world facing limited access to outdoor environments because of COVID-19 quarantines, this study suggests that nature programmes might offer an accessible way for populations to benefit from a 'dose' of digital nature."</p>
Helping those without access to nature<p>"Dose" is probably a keyword: The researchers didn't compare the benefits of experiencing nature via TV or VR to experiencing it in person. But even beyond the pandemic, the findings suggest that experiencing nature via virtual reality could help people improve their mental wellbeing — a tool that could prove especially useful for people who don't live near natural environments.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Virtual reality could help us to boost the wellbeing of people who can't readily access the natural world, such as those in hospital or in long term care," co-author Mathew White told University of Exeter News. "But it might also help to encourage a deeper connection to nature in healthy populations, a mechanism which can foster more pro-environmental behaviours and prompt people to protect and preserve nature in the real world."</p>
Virtual reality is more than a trick. It's a solution to big problems.
- According to projections shared by the UN, Earth's population is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050. By the year 2100, that number could increase to 11 billion. Virtual reality will be necessary to reduce the waste of such a large population in industries like transport, retail, and manufacturing.
- As an existing technology, there is a lot that virtual reality can do: rich and immersive environments, heightened storytelling, emotionally resonant experiences, and increased productivity in retail. But it's only in its infancy.
- As the world's population continues to grow, the technology will need to evolve to facilitate a larger network of users, and developers will have to think harder about the technological potential and the ethical, neurological, and emotional side effects.
Researchers are using technology to make visual the complex concepts of racism, as well as its political and social consequences.
- Often thought of first as gaming tech, virtual reality has been increasingly used in research as a tool for mimicking real-life scenarios and experiences in a safe and controlled environment.
- Focusing on issues of oppression and the ripple affect it has throughout America's political, educational, and social systems, Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn of Columbia University School of Social Work and her team developed a VR experience that gives users the opportunity to "walk a mile" in the shoes of a black man as he faces racism at three stages in his life: as a child, during adolescence, and as an adult.
- Cogburn says that the goal is to show how these "interwoven oppressions" continue to shape the world beyond our individual experiences. "I think the most important and powerful human superpower is critical consciousness," she says. "And that is the ability to think, be aware and think critically about the world and people around you...it's not so much about the interpersonal 'Do I feel bad, do I like you?'—it's more 'Do I see the world as it is? Am I thinking critically about it and engaging it?'"
The line between work and play has became blurred during the pandemic.
- Pornhub measured its daily traffic and reported an average increase of 24% in daily traffic compared to days before COVID-19 lockdown.
- During lockdown, VR porn has helped breach the gap between social distancing and human connection.
- There are many reasons it's better to pay for porn than rely on free websites: it reduces exploitation, the quality is better, and you can dive into the world of VR.
Porn sites' response to COVID<p>Several porn sites made their premium features free during the pandemic so that people would be more inclined to stay at home. In addition, a number of websites enabled their verified models to upload content and receive 100% of the income generated from those videos in a bid to help support them during the pandemic.</p><p>From the beginning of March, there was a <a href="https://www.pornhub.com/insights/verified-model-uploads" target="_blank">30% increase</a> of uploaded material from adult models compared to previous periods. Interestingly, more than 1,000 corona-themed videos were uploaded onto Pornhub, many of which received over one million views each. Surprisingly, corona and COVID were searched over 15 million times during this period.</p>
How virtual reality bridged the gap of social distancing and human connection<p>Porn fulfills a need when there is no one around but it's not quite the real thing so, after a point, it can leave us wanting a little bit more. Unfortunately, COVID is forcing us to wait a significant amount of time before we can really connect with someone, but thanks to virtual reality websites, such as <a href="https://badoinkvr.com" target="_blank">Badoink VR porn</a>, that little bit more was enough for many to stay at home, remain safe and satisfied.</p><p>Virtual reality porn is as close to the real thing as you can experience despite being completely alone. You can experience your sexual fantasies as though you are actually in the room watching or even experiencing the actors and actresses before you. When you look around the room or check out your company for the evening, you see it from a point-of-view perspective, which gives it a very realistic feel. It's the perfect bridge between reality and fantasy. Of course, it's no substitute for the real thing, but during lockdown, there are not many ways you can make it better.</p>
Why paying for porn is better for everyone<p>You may ask, 'Why pay for something when you can get it for free?' but COVID has highlighted the importance of looking after those who keep us going during difficult times. We have a reasonable expectation to pay for things that we use and consume, be it music, movies, and even dating sites, <a href="https://mashable.com/article/pay-for-your-porn-erika-lust/?europe=true" target="_blank">so why should porn be any different?</a> On some level, we recognize that we receive a better quality service or product when we make a financial contribution and doing so prevents the exploitation of others in disadvantaged circumstances.</p> <p>It's fair to say that few other industries have exploited people more than the adult industry and websites that offer free porn indirectly and perhaps unintentionally contribute to this due to video piracy, and lack of control over how the performers are being treated or rewarded for their effort. Paying for porn means that everyone gets a better deal, so consider finding a site that works for you. You can feel proud of being socially responsible and be sure to get a better quality product, especially if you are stepping into the modern era of virtual reality.</p>
Take the circumstances in your life seriously, but not literally. Here's why.
- Galileo was quite controversial, in part, because he argued that Earth moved around the sun, despite people's senses deluding them that the world was static.
- Evolution may have primed us to see the world in terms of payoffs rather than absolute reality — this has actually helped us survive. Those who win payoffs are more likely to pass on their genes, which encode these strategies to get to the "next level" of life.
- It's important to listen to people's objections because they may bring something to your attention outside your ken. Learn from them to make your ideas sharper.