Archive Monthly Archives: August 2018

Fuck You ALL OVER AGAIN, Rick Santorum!

Wait. Why is Rick Santorum still a thing?

Didn’t we as a society decide we were done with him? And didn’t we collectively laugh when Dan Savage literally smeared his name by turning it into the term for lube mixed with fecal matter??

OMG, if you don’t even remember who he is anymore, that is totally real. LOOK!

Photos: Celebrities Take To The Streets In Solidarity With The March For Our Lives Protests

Well, apparently now he’s a CNN commentator, and on Sunday’s State Of The Union, the former Senator and failed Presidential candidate reminded us simultaneously of his existence and his horribleness.

In a discussion about the amazing teens leading the charge against gun violence with the massive March For Our Lives, this piece of shit actually said:

“How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that?”

And then:

“They didn’t take action to say, ‘How do I, as an individual, deal with this problem? How am I going to do something about stopping bullying within my own community? What am I going to do to actually help respond to a shooter?’ Instead of going and protesting and saying, ‘Oh, someone else needs to pass a law to protect me.'”

OK, we shouldn’t dignify ludicrous comments like this with a response.

And we’re guessing most of the student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas and elsewhere won’t.

Video: Emma Gonzalez’s Speech Will Bring You To Tears

BUT COME ON!

He’s essentially saying they should resign themselves to getting shot!

Rather than trying to do anything they can to prevent that, they should just prepare themselves to deal with gunshot wounds.

Honestly, Rick, we legit forgot you existed. But now FUCK YOU AGAIN.

Watch the entire convo — if you can (below)!

[Image via CNN.]

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Online Dating Is A Hunting Ground For Narcissists And Sociopaths: How To Protect Yourself In The Modern Dating Age

God & Man

Is our culture becoming more narcissistic? Research indicates that a higher number of younger people are meeting the clinical criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder and that we are now living in what might be called “the age of entitlement” (Twenge and Campbell, 2009). While there are multiple factors that contribute to the rise of narcissism in our society, access to numerous methods of connecting with others in the digital age undoubtedly exacerbates the need to be seen as “special and unique.” Accompanying this need is a blatant dehumanization of others in the search for attention, popularity and admiration.

The Tinder Generation

Mobile dating went mainstream about five years ago; by 2012 it was overtaking online dating. In February, one study reported there were nearly 100 million people—perhaps 50 million on Tinder alone—using their phones as a sort of all-day, every-day, handheld singles club, where they might find a sex partner as easily as they’d find a cheap flight to Florida. ‘It’s like ordering Seamless,’ says Dan, the investment banker, referring to the online food-delivery service. ‘But you’re ordering a person.”

Nancy Jo Sales, Tinder and The Dawn of The Dating Apocalypse

With the proliferation of online dating apps such as Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, PlentyofFish and OkCupid, there has been a visible rise of instant gratification without emotional intimacy in our dating culture. At the same time, the younger generation of men and women are more likely to encounter narcissists – those without empathy – at an alarming rate in their daily lives.

While malignant narcissists can be found anywhere and everywhere and there are certainly decent people on dating websites, the online world of dating provides predators with a platform where they can gain access to multiple victims without accountability.

Here are three ways in which we encounter narcissism in the digital age and self-care tips to keep you safe.

1. Hookup culture along with online dating has made us more desensitized to physical intimacy and instant gratification.

The younger generation is growing up at an exciting yet terrifying time: a time when connections can be made instantaneously, yet meaningful connections are becoming harder and harder to find. We are being conditioned to believe that we are entitled to an unlimited number of choices as we swipe through what is virtually a human meat market. The problem is, the number of choices we have is doing little to assuage the need for fulfilling and meaningful relationships. We are now looking at what some experts have aptly called “the dawn of the dating apocalypse” (Jo Sales, 2015).

Those who are looking for casual dates and sex may be satisfied with the likes of Tinder, one of the most popular dating apps used by singles, but those who are looking for something more meaningful may be traumatized and retraumatized by the number of people who pretend to be looking for a serious relationship while misrepresenting their true intentions. Studies show that deception is common on these apps, with users creating an illusory image of who they are and what they are looking for, resulting in frustrating romantic encounters (Purvis, 2017).

Self-Care Tip

A digital detox is needed, especially in times like these. Frequent online dating app users may want to take a break from swiping-induced carpal tunnel and spend time alone or with family and friends rather than engaging in serial dating.

Find ways to meet people organically without using these apps; attend Meetups based on your hobbies or interests, or join clubs that center on your passions; pursue activities in your local community such as group meditations or yoga with like-minded people.

Look up from the screen and engage in face-to-face conversations with the people in front of you; the more we interact with others in real life, the more hope we have for connecting with humanity in more authentic ways. If you’re going through a break-up, resist the urge to download an online dating app to ‘rush’ the healing process. In many cases, it will only delay the natural grieving process and lead to more disappointment.

2. There might be good people with earnest intentions on dating apps, but there is no doubt that many narcissists and sociopaths infiltrate these apps and use online dating as their virtual playground and hunting ground.

Online dating gives malignant narcissists and sociopaths access to numerous sources of what is known as  – people who can provide them with praise, admiration, and resources – without any need for any form of investment, commitment or accountability. These digital platforms also enable narcissists to construct a very convincing and compelling false mask that lures potential targets into various scams. But perhaps the biggest ‘scam’ is when a narcissistic predator ‘cons’ his or her target into an abusive relationship, while presenting himself or herself as the ideal partner.

This is easy to do online, as emotional predators can ‘morph’ into whatever identity they need in order to hook new victims and also ‘mirror’ their victims by finding out more about them through social media, as many apps now offer the ability to link to social media profiles. Predators can also adapt their profiles to create an image of themselves that appeal to their potential victims; a majority of online dating users have been shown to have profiles that stray from the truth in some capacity (Wood, 2012).

Self-Care Tip

Manage your expectations and listen to your intuition when online. Remember, immediate intimacy with someone can be a red flag of fast forwarding to get an agenda met. Always put your safety first and try not divulge too much about your income, your career, your relationship history or any other resource a predator might find appealing before getting to know someone. Build connections slowly and organically so that you have the necessary space to step back and reevaluate when needed.

If someone gives you an odd vibe, even through the screen, trust your instincts and don’t go any further. If someone seems to have all of your same hobbies and interests, be wary that they’re not just telling you what you want to hear or love-bombing you to get what they want.

3. Monogamy and emotional availability are becoming more and more of a rarity.

Our current hookup culture and the rise of online dating apps have made emotional unavailability a new normal (Garcia, et. al 2012). Many people now feel entitled to all the benefits of a relationship without actually being in one, engaging in the real-life equivalent of the ‘it’s complicated’ Facebook relationship status with numerous partners.

Needless to say, the effects of hookup culture can be alarming to the psyche and have a psychological impact on the way that we view relationships and intimacy in the modern age. Both younger and older generations alike are becoming accustomed to the idea of having another date or rebound at their fingertips, without having to do the inner work of healing from past relationships or working on their self-esteem.

People can now latch themselves onto the next partner without taking the time to grieve or learn from past mistakes. And those who have done the inner work to heal can find obstacles on their path to finding a fulfilling relationship, with more and more potential mates always on the search for something “better.”

The ambiguity of “almost relationships” is also at an all-time high. Emotionally unavailable partners can now reap the benefits of relationships without calling anyone their boyfriend or girlfriend; they can now place numerous partners into “friends with benefits” type situations. For those who are looking for something casual and carefree, this can be empowering and exciting. For those who are looking for a longer-term commitment, however, they may have to sort through many covert manipulators before finding someone who is compatible with their needs and desires.

Double standards against women engaging in casual sex also permit emotionally unavailable, narcissistic men to benefit a great deal from these casual arrangements, while punishing women for ‘acting like men’ if they “dare” to also date multiple partners (Kreager and Staff, 2009).

Self-Care Tip

Stay true to your standards when dating, whether you’re using an online dating app, meeting people in real life or both. If you’re a person who is interested in a longer-term commitment and you feel unable to engage in sex casually without developing feelings, don’t give into anyone else’s sexual demands or expectations for the sake of pleasing them or in the hopes of ‘winning’ a relationship. A half-hearted relationship that results in more losses than gains is one where no one wins – except, of course, the person who gets all the benefits of your company without the effort.

Remember that you are already worthy of a great and healthy relationship. You don’t have to ‘earn’ the ability to be treated with respect, honesty and decency. Manage your expectations online and realize that there will be many people in cyberspace who will try to get your maximum investment while putting in the minimum effort.

Integrity and transparency are becoming less and less commonplace and is especially rare online. Do not put up with the dwindling standards for human decency. Instead, be very wary of and cut off contact with predators online who attempt to manipulate you into giving them what they want while dismissing your needs. Their actions will always speak louder than words.

The right person who is compatible with you will want what you want – whether you meet them online or in real life. There won’t be any ‘gray areas’ with the right person nor will you ever have to compromise your own standards to be with them. You won’t ever have to wonder whether you’re just ‘hanging out’ or going out. It will be clear – and that will be the relationship that will be worth investing in.

References
Garcia, J. R., Reiber, C., Massey, S. G., & Merriwether, A. M. (2012). Sexual hookup culture: A review.  (2), 161-176. doi:10.1037/a0027911
Kreager, D. A., & Staff, J. (2009). The Sexual Double Standard and Adolescent Peer Acceptance.  (2), 143-164. doi:10.1177/019027250907200205
Purvis, J. (2017, February 12). Finding love in a hopeless place: Why Tinder is so “evilly satisfying”. Retrieved here.
Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2009). The narcissism epidemic: Living in the age of entitlement. New York: Atria Paperback.
Wood, J. (2012, February 14). Detecting Online Liars. Retrieved from Psych Central.
This article has been adapted and originally appeared on Psych Central as 

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5 Ways To Overcome Online Social Media Fatigue For Mental Well-Being – Forbes


Forbes

5 Ways To Overcome Online Social Media Fatigue For Mental Well-Being
Forbes
We are always connected, and social media marketing is a very important tool for businesses today. Close to half the world's population (appx. 3.03 billion people) are on some type of social media. The average person spends about 20 minutes on Facebook.
Sharing your #shopping on social media can damage your health and your walletThe Conversation AU

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Depressed teens turn to social media to cope, survey finds – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com

Depressed teens turn to social media to cope, survey finds
NBCNews.com
Type “I'm depressed” into an internet search engine such as Google and you might get a free online depression test. Click on #depression on Instagram, and you'll get a prompt asking “Can we help?” and offering links for support. Digital tech now plays
When it comes to youthful mental health, social media may help as much as hurtDeseret News

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The Big Sur ‘island’: Life no paradise for those cut off by storms, landslides

Big Sur, California (CNN)Bringing home the groceries has taken on new meaning for residents of this hamlet perched along California’s famous Highway 1. With a vital bridge gone, they have to hike in — toting backpacks, shopping bags and even the occasional wheelbarrow.

If you’re in good shape, navigating the 1-mile trail’s switchbacks and steep spots might take 20 minutes. For others, count on up to 40 minutes of huffing and puffing.
Welcome to Big Sur, where coastal residents’ willingness to live on nature’s terms has been severely tested: Historic drought usurped by two unrelenting wet winters has eroded hillsides and sent cascades of mud and rock onto highways along Big Sur’s 90 miles. Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge near here had to be demolished and is being rebuilt.
    The perils of living (and driving) on the edge of California captured headlines late last month when 1 million tons of rock closed the highway 40 miles south of here.
    There’s a sense of dj vu for old-timers who’ve been cut off from the outside world before. The ordeal at Pfeiffer Canyon has lasted more than four months, testing the artists, poets, free spirits and business owners who call this rugged place home.
    Big Sur presents an interesting dynamic. Residents love the beauty and seclusion, but they are dependent on tourists. That traffic has dropped to a trickle because of the road closures. On a stretch of coast where sky, sea and majestic mountains coalesce, isolation has been taken to another level.

    The damage: $1 billion, and counting

    Big Sur has become an island of sorts, set off by the closure at Pfeiffer Canyon on the north and landslide-related closures to the south. Residents, known for their self-reliance, are helping each other through a very difficult time.
    With a natural barrier of rugged mountains to the east, the road — known as the Pacific Coast Highway farther south of here — is the only effective means of accessing this and other seaside communities a few hours south of San Francisco.
    The iconic highway includes a stretch that runs from Carmel south to San Simeon. With most of the businesses and residents living along the road, few tourists venture into the interior.

    Unceasing rain that damaged the support system rendered the Pfeiffer bridge impassable. It’s being rebuilt, but the work is a challenge and it won’t reopen until at least late September.
    Farther south, near Gorda, the massive landslide last month added an exclamation point to the misery. Highway 1 in that area has been closed almost continuously since January. Authorities haven’t put out a timetable for when the road will be cleared, but it’s expected to take about a year.
    Another Highway 1 calamity, dubbed Paul’s slide, is not expected to be cleared until mid-July.

      Landslide buries California scenic highway

    Repairs across the state already have exceeded $1 billion, and the bill is expected to increase.
    To access the Big Sur community, one must sign a waiver. The hurriedly upgraded and constructed path from the road is intended for residents who can’t drive in from the north. It is expected to open to the public soon.
    Despite the beauty of hiking in the shadows of enormous redwoods, the trail is not for the faint of heart. Upon ascending the terminus of the trail, you’re met by enormous cranes and a flurry of construction vehicles working feverishly to build a new bridge. Just beyond the maze of construction, it becomes immediately apparent why those who live here choose to do so.

    The magic: Why they live here

    Karen Gafill, an artist born and raised in Big Sur, knits with five other women. The deck is high above the Pacific Ocean, which provides its own palette of colors.
    When asked to explain the allure of the place, she says: “It’s not just a selfie standing next to a bridge; it’s experiencing a moment in life that can be really transformative.”
    The road lies just beyond the group. It is stunningly quiet, the sole traffic cruising around its bends are the majestic California condors soaring upon the thermals above. The only sounds are those of blue jays in the trees and the telltale bark of California sea lions wafting up from steep ravines deep below. In an eerie walk down the center line of Highway 1, one takes in road signs heralding upcoming destinations, beckoning nonexistent travelers.
    Big Sur has long lured the curious and the unconventional. Among those who lived there, but eventually left, were writers Jack Kerouac and Henry Miller.
    “The ideal community,” Miller wrote, “would be the loose, fluid aggregation of individuals. It would be a God-filled community, even if none of its members believed in God. It would be a paradise.”
    Many who live here above the Pacific Ocean came to find meaning, inner peace or a job with an awesome view. Some have said Big Sur is a state of mind, where people are dwarfed by something bigger. But living here doesn’t come easy.
    A weathered San Francisco Chronicle article posted at a business here includes the musings of a hippie from April 1968: “I want to live there but I can’t. You can make it for a while, and then one day you have to leave. It blows your mind.”

    The blogger: An eye of fires, road conditions

    Kate Novoa, or “Big Sur Kate” as she’s called, knows the area’s roads well. Beginning with some of the devastating wildfires during the drought years, her blog keeps Big Sur residents abreast of the latest detours around road closures.
    From high atop a ridge overlooking miles of Big Sur in all directions, Novoa found she could more quickly and effectively inform her fellow residents than larger and slower government-backed services.
    Novoa says the closure is welcomed in many respects. “It’s turned her back in time to where we now have some breathing room … to recover from all of the damage that she has taken over the last five or 10 years.”
    About 400-500 people live in and around the Big Sur community, and they are dealing with some real logistical challenges. Mail is being delivered only once or twice a week. The closest health center is a couple of miles north of the closed bridge (you can get there via the trail and a walk up the highway; a larger hospital is about 25 miles beyond that).
    Attempting to drive in is nearly impossible. You can’t do it from the Pfeiffer bridge to the north, and coming up from the east and south is no picnic. The access road is narrow and treacherous, and residents and delivery trucks have intermittent and very short windows when escorted convoys are allowed. Supplies are in short supply, and the lack of large towns in proximity to the coast there means one must buy them hours away.

    The stress: A hefty drop in business

    As the hamlet takes time to make repairs and catch its breath, the local economy has largely tanked, because the normal torrent of visitors has turned into a trickle. Fewer dollars because of the isolation have meant temporary layoffs, and some people have left town.
    Those retailers that are open may see only a handful of customers a day. Some, like Gafill, have turned to social media to supplement earnings. Unable to teach in person, Gafill and her husband improvised a video system instead and she has had to rely more on the web for sales of her creations.
    Her brother, Kirk Gafill, runs the landmark Nepenthe restaurant, which his grandparents opened in 1949.
    He has 115 employees, many of whom have been with him for decades. He worries about their well-being, noting that 90 of them have had very little or no work, though Nepenthe remains open.
    “Getting my staff back means everything to me, keeping those bonds as strong as possible, but it’s pretty tough when they’re not getting a paycheck,” he says.
    Just a short walk down the road, Steve Mayer stands behind the bar at the local watering hole, the Big Sur Taphouse, with nary a patron in sight. Many people in the community note how Steve and his father, Kurt, the owner, pushed a wheelbarrow through the woods with goods that kept the business and neighboring Big Sur Deli open without interruption.
    “We’ve stayed open through wildfires in the past, and we stayed open for the community because they support us year-round,” Steve says. “If you don’t expect crazy things to happen if you own a business in Big Sur, then you’re not in the right mind.”

    The long view: We’ll be back

    Expecting crazy things to happen in Big Sur seems deeply ingrained in the mindset here, where crises like this year’s are always possible.
    Kirk Gafill, the restaurateur, is philosophical about the recent downturn. Things will get better for Nepenthe, he says. Business before the road closures was at record levels.
    But he acknowledges each person must weigh the benefits versus the ordeals that come with living in an isolated area. They must constantly evaluate whether the “inconveniences are offset by the incredible opportunity to be here during these times — and have Big Sur to yourself during these quiet periods.”
    For now, quiet rules. Until the roads are repaired, today’s Big Sur has been catapulted back in time to the Big Sur of a century ago, when self-reliance was paramount.
    One day, however, the condors will again soar above an endless procession of tourists.
    At least, that is, until Mother Nature launches a new salvo.

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