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ARE YOU TOUCH STARVED

What does it mean to be ‘touch starved”

Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — Written by Louise Morales-Brown on January 19, 2021

Edited By Alex Santiago

Touch starvation refers to the longing for touch or physical contact from other living beings. It typically occurs when a person experiences little to no physical contact for a prolonged amount of time.

Humans are largely social beings, and some research suggests that many people feel comfort, security, and satisfaction from physical contact. Deprivation of physical touch may result in people experiencing negative sensations, such as feelings of emptiness and loneliness.

There may be a growing number of people experiencing touch starvation due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Physical distancing and social restrictions to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are limiting exposure to other people and reducing physical contact between humans.

People may also refer to touch starvation as touch depression, touch deprivation, affection deprivation, touch hunger, or skin hunger.

This article will discuss what touch starvation is, its potential psychological complications, and some ways to help prevent it.

What does it mean?

Close up of a hand touching a large tree.
Sebastian Kopp / EyeEm/Getty Images

Touch starvation refers to the desire for physical contact that people may experience after receiving little to no physical interaction with others for a period of time. Some people may compare it to the desire for food during hunger.

Research has found that touch is important for humans when it comes to communicating emotions and maintaining relationships. Many studies emphasize the importance of social touch in human development.

Touch can activate particular areas of the brain and may influence thought processes, reactions, and physiological responses.

For example, research suggests that affective touch activates the orbitofrontal cortex. This area of the brain is involved with emotional and social behaviors, as well as learning and decision making.

Touch can also be calming and reassuring for people experiencing distress. One 2017 study notes that embracing and patting children in distress has a soothing effect. A 2015 study even suggests that human touch may help fight off infections.

Therefore, having a lack of physical contact may result in some people experiencing what many refer to as touch starvation.

Causes

Touch starvation may increase feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. In turn, this may trigger a variety of negative physiological effects.

For example, to combat stress, the body releases the hormone cortisol. This hormone can increase heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and muscle tension and suppress the digestive and immune systems, which could increase the risk of infection.

One 2018 study notes that skin can communicate positive and negative touch stimuli to sensory nerves, which convey the sensation of touch to the brain. In response to low intensity stimulation of the skin, such as touch or stroking, the body releases oxytocin, which some people call the “love hormone.”

Oxytocin has many potential benefits, such as contributing to everyday well-being and stress reduction. Therefore, regular touch may help maintain general well-being, while a lack of physical contact may facilitate negative psychological and physiological effects.ADVERTISEMENTTry a top-rated app for meditation and sleep

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Symptoms

It can be hard for someone to know if they are experiencing touch starvation. Most commonly, people will feel an overwhelming sensation of loneliness.

People may also experience:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • feelings of depression
  • low satisfaction
  • difficulty sleeping
  • fatigue

Furthermore, people may exhibit behavior trying to simulate touch. This could include taking long baths or showers, wrapping up in blankets, or cuddling a pet or cushion.

Psychological complications

The feelings of loneliness and isolation that accompany touch starvation are likely to result in adverse psychological complications. For example, a lack of physical contact may increase feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.

One 2017 study highlights that affectionate touch promotes psychological well-being. Therefore, it is possible that a lack of contact could put a person’s mental and emotional health at risk.

A 2020 study notes that touch can also reduce the feeling of loneliness. Therefore, a lack of physical contact may cause or worsen loneliness in some people.

Research also notes that those who report loneliness show dampened cognitive function and a higher chance of experiencing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.MEDICAL NEWS TODAY NEWSLETTERStay in the know. Get our free daily newsletter

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Remedies

Some methods that people can try to overcome or reduce the sensation of touch starvation include the following:

  • Using blankets: People can try to find comfort from wrapping themselves up in blankets. Alternatively, people can use weighted blankets. Using weighted blankets can mimic the sensation of receiving a hug, so this may help people feel a sense of peace and calm.
  • Self-massage: People can try practicing self-massage to reduce touch starvation. For example, people can massage their neck to try to stimulate the vagus nerve, which may help reduce stress.
  • Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR): This refers to the pleasant sensation that some people experience when listening to ASMR videos. These sounds activate the area of the brain that processes touch and may help people feel calm and relaxed.
  • Recounting previous contact: Research suggests that touch plays a role in memory. Therefore, people may be able to recall a previous instance of physical contact and focus on their senses to relive the situation.
  • Using body pillows: Using a body pillow may help some people feel more comfortable during sleep. This may also mimic the sensation of cuddling.
  • Hugging: Research suggests that even hugging an inanimate object, such as a pillow, can help reduce stress. If possible, people can also hug their pet. In fact, research notes that animal companionship can reduce distress and loneliness.
  • Communication: If possible, try to stay in regular contact with family, friends, and other loved ones. This could be through text messages, phone calls, or video calls. Research suggests a link between video calls and reduced feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
  • Exercising: Physical activity can help improve cognitive function and well-being. It can also help reduce feelings of stress and depression and improve sleep.

When to seek help

If a person experiences negative mental health symptoms, they should try to seek assistance. Without treatment, mental health can significantly worsen and affect a person’s quality of life.

However, it is important for people to respect and maintain physical distancing measures and not risk their health or that of other people.

If a person is unable to get help in person, they could consider trying teletherapy. This is any form of remote therapy that uses technology to allow the therapist and their client to communicate. This can include holding therapy sessions over the phone, by video call, or through instant messaging.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can call 800-799-4889.

Summary

Touch starvation refers to a sense of longing for physical contact. Humans are social creatures, and touch plays an important role in development and communication. For some people, the deprivation of human touch may result in negative mental health effects.

People can try different methods to mimic the sensation of human contact or try other means to promote positive mental health, such as exercising and regularly communicating with loved ones.

If a person is experiencing adverse mental health effects due to touch starvation, they should try to seek help.

RICHEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD 2021

Top 10 Richest People in the World (Updated 2021)

Balwinder  January 13, 2021  

Edited By Alex Santiago

Pandemic has made all of us take a huge toll on our salary and business income. However, there are people in the world who have succeeded in maintaining their wealth during the last 6 months. Well, we are aware of the names. Starting from Jeff Bezos to Warren Buffett, all the world’s richest people have grown their net worth while most of us were losing it. So move to look in the list of richest people in the world.

Richest People in the World

Whatsoever, we aren’t aware of all the richest people in the world. With this article, we will find about the top 10 richest people in the world, along with their wealth and net worth and how they manage to grow it during this time.

Top 10 Richest People In The World With The Highest Net Worth:

Here is the list of 10 Richest People in the World:

1. Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the co-founder of the world s largest EV manufacturing company – Tesla Inc., has surpassed Bill Gates to become the 2nd in the list of top richest people in the world. With his net worth solely growing from Tesla’s shares, there is no way anyone can beat him in this race. As per his prediction, the Tesla share crossed the $500 billion mark, which is the reason for his enormous growth. Well, many consider him the Tony Stark of the billionaires.

  • Net Worth – $195 billion

2. Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, as of Jan 2021, is on the top when it comes to the world s richest people in the world. He is the co-founder of Amazon.com, which now has several subsidiaries all across the globe. His net worth is in billion and, therefore, tough for many to match. Unbelievably, Jeff Bezos’ net worth grew $72.4 billion during the last year and continues to do so without taking a halt.

  • Net Worth – $185 billion

3. Bill Gates

Bill Gates - Richest People in the World

Well, who hasn’t heard of Bill Gates. The former CEO of Microsoft is loved by everyone. It is his charitable nature that pulls him down on the list of the world s richest people. His age is 65 years and still believes in growing his net worth. His charitable nature has made him one of the kindest people in the world.  Bill Gates was ruling the top 10 richest people in the world’s list until Jeff Bezos took his place.

  • Net Worth – $132 billion

4. Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault is a hero for many people. His way of growing his wealth is phenomenal and, thus, loved by many, even after the decrease in the demand for luxurious goods. He has made sure to hold his position at 4th place among the top billionaires with an amazing net worth. He has invested heavily in his business empire and owns brands like Louis Vuitton and Sephora.

  • Net Worth – $110 Billion

5. Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg - Richest People in the World

He is the co-founder and CEO of Facebook Inc. He is the youngest billionaire and has made his way into Forbes numerous times. Two years ago, there was only 1 cent-billionaire (more than $100 billion); however, we have 5 now. Mark Zuckerberg invested heavily in Reliance Industries recently to convert India into a digitally free country. All of them have a marvelous way of investing in different ventures. Being one of the 10 billionaires in the world is indeed a great thing.

  • Net Worth – $100 billion

6. Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is the classiest person that one can come across. His investment strategy is out of the box. With most of his wealth from the stock market, there is always something new to learn about the person.

At a very tender age, Warren Buffett understood the importance of investing and made his first 2 billion of net worth in a very short span. Currently, he is the largest shareholder of Coca-Cola Inc. and has a major investment in American Airlines, United, Southwest, and Delta. Apart from it, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have been great friends for a long time.

  • Net Worth – $85.2 billion

7. Larry Page

Larry Page - Richest People in the World

Larry, along with his partner, had an aim to make Google Inc., the biggest company in this world. Well, he succeeded in the same but had to leave his position to take care of his life. He is the co-founder of the holding company for Google, i.e., Alphabet. Larry stepped down from his position in December 2019. His innovative idea is one of the main reasons why he is one of the richest persons in this world.

  • Net Worth – $83.6 billion

8. Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison

At some point of time in life, we all must have come across the software giant Oracle. Well, Larry is the co-founder and chairman of this company. He has stakes in different companies and believes in investing heavily in futuristic companies. He is among the few people who’s wealth didn’t shrink this year.

  • Net Worth – $79.7 billion

9. Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer

Well, most of us might not have come across the name Steve Ballmer. He is the ninth richest person in this world and is renowned for his former CEO position for Microsoft. Being a basketball fan, he owns the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, which he invested in 2014. He bought the team for an amount of $2 billion and has loved it since that day.

  • Net Worth – $79.1 billion

10. Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin

The last one on our list of the top richest people in the world is Sergey Brin. He is the person who helped Larry Page form the ultimate software company, Alphabet. He recently stepped down from the position of President of Alphabet in the year 2019. Now, he is known for his wealth and his position as a board member for the company.

  • Net Worth – $78.8 billion

Well, most of you must be looking for the name Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries. Whatsoever, his wealth shrunk recently to $76.8 billion from $90 billion. This gave an opportunity to Steve Ballmer and Sergey Brin to take his position on the list. However, he is the owner of the company, which passed the $2 trillion mark in recent times.  Muskan Ambani has been on the list of the richest people and is looking forward to grabbing the same in the future.

30 TIPS FOR BUILDING A WEBSITE

30 Tips for Building Your First Business Website

 Author Annie Pilon

Edited By Alex Santiago

First Business Website



Don’t know a blog from a website from social media platform? Are you ready for your first business website but don’t know how to get started?

Having a professional, comprehensive website is important for pretty much every new business. But getting started can seem intimidating for those who have never had their own website before. Below are tips for building your first business website.

Have a Clear Goal

Every small business website is different because every one serves a different purpose. If you want your first business website to be a portal for people to buy products, you need to build it around that goal. If you want it to provide information and entice potential clients to call you, you have to build it with that goal in mind. A website without a clear purpose will only cost you time and money while providing little, if any, benefit.

Write Your Own Content

Before getting started with building your first business website, you should decide, at least in basic terms, what you want it to say. According to Emily Bracket, president of design and branding firm Visible Logic, the website owner should at least start the content creation for their own site. Even if you plan to hire someone to edit or polish it, you know the basic message of your company more than anyone else will.

State Your Purpose Clearly and Quickly

You do, however, want to make sure that the written content of your website isn’t too long-winded. Website visitors don’t often spend a lot of time reading through pages of content just to find basic information. So make sure that the important points about your company and its offerings are very clear and easy for visitors to find.

Tell Customers What You Can Do for Them

It can also help to try reading your content as a potential visitor. According to Bracket, a common pitfall she sees among new website owners is a tendency to focus on what they do, rather than what benefit they provide to customers or clients.

Utilize Calls to Action

Another way to make your goals very clear to visitors is to utilize calls to action. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? If so, add a form on your main page. Do you want them to shop through your new collection of products? Tell them so.

Develop a Page Hierarchy

Almost all business websites include at least a few different pages. You might choose to go with a very simple format, including a home page, about page and contact page. Or you might want different pages for your different services, with a main services page that offers a general overview. That’s something you should decide on, or at least consider, before building or hiring someone to build your site.

Draw Inspiration

If you’re unsure of how you want your first business website to look or how you want your content to read, look around for some websites that you really like. Don’t copy them, of course. But looking for some outside inspiration can help you get an idea of what you want from your new site.

Professional Website > Personal Accomplishment

Small businesses strapped for cash might want to go the DIY route for their first business website. While some have done this successfully, it’s tricky for a new business owner. Bracket said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends:


“I hear it all the time from business owners who tried to build their own websites. They felt so proud and it was such a great learning experience. But the fact is that customers don’t care what a great learning experience it was. They only care that your website looks professional. So even if you worked really hard on it, if it doesn’t look professional it can be detrimental to your business.”

Own Your Domain

Bracket also recommends that all businesses purchase an actual domain name. Some providers offer free ones that come with extensions. But yourbusiness.com tends to be more professional and easy to remember than yourbusiness.wordpress.com.

Choose a Reliable Host

There are also plenty of different hosting platforms available. Bracket and her team recommend and mainly work with WordPress, which she says is a great scalable and customizable option. But there are others that you can look into based on the needs for your particular website.

Consider Future Growth

However, if you plan or hope to grow your business quickly, think carefully before choosing a low-cost platform aimed at very small sites. Platforms like Wix and Squarespace can work great for businesses that plan to stay relatively small and use just a few features. But if you ever outgrow them, transferring all of your site content to a new host can be a pain, according to Bracket.

Get a Designer You Admire

If you are going to hire someone to create your first business website, choose someone who you think fits the style of your business. One of the best ways to do this is to look at those sites that you admire and see who’s responsible for the design.

Seek Samples and References

Once you have a few names to consider, take a look at their other work and don’t be afraid to ask for references.

Consider the Project’s Scale

However, even if you’ve found some sites you like, they might not have many elements that would be applicable to your own website project. When looking for examples, you should take into account the scale of the project along with the actual design elements. You don’t want to choose a designer based on their work with huge brands that have hundreds of website pages if your project is very small and basic.

Peruse Pre-Made Themes

Not every brand new business owner will necessarily have the resources to hire a design team. There are plenty of pre-made themes available for purchase, depending on the web host you’ve chosen. So find a theme that fits with your branding and will allow for small edits down the road.

Stay Away from Free Themes

However, Bracket cautions against businesses choosing free themes for their sites, since they often aren’t as secure as those you purchase. It doesn’t have to be a huge expense, but even a small investment in a good theme can help keep your first business website secure.

Add a Face

One of the common elements of many popular small business websites, according to Bracket, is a photo of the founder or the team. She explains:

“A lot of times with new businesses or website owners, they want to try and make their businesses look big. But that’s not always beneficial. A lot of customers want to know that there’s a real person who’s going to be working with them. So including a good photo of yourself or your team is almost always a good idea.”

Tell a Personal Story

Another way to make people feel more connected to your business through your website is to tell your story. Bracket says:

“It’s really nice to include a story about yourself or why you created the business in the first place, as long as that reason is something more than just ‘to make money.’ If you started the business to help people or if there was a specific thing that happened that led to your business idea, people love stories like that.”

Set Up Easy Contact

With very limited exceptions, every business website, no matter the type or size, should include contact information. This can be an email address, phone number, address, social accounts, or all of the above. The more ways you give people to contact you, the more likely they are to feel comfortable reaching out.

Always Include a Contact Form

When deciding which types of contact information to provide, a contact form should always be included, says Bracket. Sometimes people are looking to get in touch but they don’t have access to their main email program or just can’t click on your email link for whatever reason. A contact form makes it easy for people to send a message no matter where they are or what kind of device they are using.

Keep Design Elements Simple

Whether you’re working with a designer or just choosing a template, don’t go too crazy with different design elements. Stick with a few colors or textures and don’t add too many different fonts or type sizes.

Make Text Easy-to-Read

Since the text of your site is likely what’s providing most of the relevant information to your visitors, it’s important that they can actually read it. Basic typefaces, like those that your designer or theme are likely to suggest, are best for readability. So don’t go changing all of your fonts to fancy lettering just because you think it looks cool.

Add Valuable Images

Visuals like images can also go a long way for adding interest to your first business website. Some ideas for relevant images include team photos, examples of your work, and even relevant stock images.

Avoid Cheap Stock Photography

However, an overwhelming amount of stock photography won’t really add anything to your first business website. So if you’re not willing to make a small investment in good images, it might be best to just skip it. Bracket says:

“Some people see other websites that utilize great photos and they think, ‘I really need a photo here.’ But then they don’t want to pay anything for photography so they end up with one that doesn’t show anything about the business, is low quality and has been seen a thousand times. If it doesn’t actually add anything to your page, you might just be better off with no photo at all.”

Include Customer Testimonials

Customer testimonials can be another great element of a lot of business sites. If your business is brand new, work on getting some quality testimonials first, rather than just publishing bland, generic recommendations. But even a few text blocks from customers can help build your credibility.

Scout Good Images

Including images with those testimonials can increase their prevalence on your site even more. But you might have to work on getting the best images possible. Bracket explains:

“I’ve found that, for clients that like to include photos with things like testimonials, if they ask clients for photos they tend to be a bit bashful about sending them. But if they just ask if they can use a photo from their LinkedIn page or take one while they’re on a sales call, they’re more likely to go for it. You have to make it really easy for them.”

Add Video Elements When Possible

You can also add video testimonials or other types of video content to your first business website if it’s relevant to your message and high quality.

Insist on a Mobile Site

But no matter what type of content you decide to include on your website, make sure that the site itself is responsive or mobile friendly. Having a site that isn’t mobile optimized can drive away customers, hurt your SEO and look unprofessional, writes aWebsite.com.

Research SEO

SEO is a concept you’ll have to keep in mind throughout the entirety of running your website. Your designer should be able to help with the basics at first. But over time you’ll likely want to educate yourself about some of the concepts so that people can easily find you online.

Learn as You Go

Once your first business website is live, the process is far from over. You’ve made a great first step. But a company’s website is never really complete. Add or change elements as your business grows and changes. Adapt to things like SEO and mobile designs, writes abcSEO. And always remember to keep your customers’ needs and wants in mind when it comes to your first business website.

THE ADULT ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

Edited By Alex Santiago

As therapist John Woods recently wrote, pornography “is no longer just a private problem. It is a public health problem.”

It’s no secret that adult entertainment is one of the leading industries driving website traffic online. But just how much of this traffic is actually going to porn websites, and what locations is it coming from? We got an inside look alongside SimilarWeb to explore the murky world of online porn consumption. The results may surprise you—and also provide a fresh perspective on how online marketers working in this category maximize their returns.

Pornographic websites are responsible for 4.41% of all desktop visits on the internet worldwide. To put that in perspective, ExtremeTech surveyed usage data pulled from Google’s DoubleClick Ad Planner and discovered that the most popular porn site on the web serves up 4.4 billion page views per month. Reddit, by comparison, clocks in with just 2.8 billion.

The adult entertainment category ranks seventh on the list of leading categories on the internet, falling just below computers and electronics and surpassing a variety of other very strong categories, including games and sports.

Which countries have the most shares of porn sites?

Porn sites are clearly the unhealthy habit of choice for many, as it outranks gambling, beauty and fitness, travel, health, and recreation. The adult entertainment industry is known for driving huge profits, and is in fact twice as large as the online finance industry, in terms of traffic share, as we can see in the chart below.

Adult entertainment percentage desktop worldwide
Countries with biggest share adult entertainment

World average – 4.41%

According to SimilarWeb’s analysis, the top two countries with the highest share of adult websites are Iraq and Egypt, two very socially conservative countries that many wouldn’t have previously thought would factor in the top 10. Rounding out the category are predominantly European nations with the likes of Japan and Peru making up the Asian and South American contingent.

Which countries have the longest sessions, and visit the most pages?

Meanwhile on the list of countries with the longest average session time, East outranks West. Middle-Eastern countries along with those in Asia dominate the top of the rankings. Interestingly, neither the USA, UK nor Canada are ranked on the below chart, suggesting that there is a very lucrative market for adult websites overseas.

Countries longest sessions adult entertainment

World average – 0:03:16

Countries most pageviews adult entertainment

World average – 3.8

Once again Europe is dominating the list—and in terms of highest pages viewed per visit, specifically northern Europe. However, way out in front is Hong Kong, with its nearest Asian neighbor, Singapore, placed in fifth.

Which search engine is used to find porn?

Google is the clear search engine of choice for users looking for porn, with a whopping 83.48% of all adult-site search coming from the brand. Maybe this isn’t too surprising since Google is by far the biggest and most popular search engine, and with adult sites especially, people want a search engine they can trust. However, there have been suggestions that Google’s filtering results are sending more users to Bing.

Traffic source adult entertainment

Fun fact: our data shows that the social media channel driving the most traffic to adult websites is not Facebook as we had expected, but reddit.com. You might be surprised to see that Tumblr is missing from this list, but that’s because the blogging site is built on subdomains, and therefore each subdomain is counted as a separate website. (Analysis can be done on Tumblr alone, but this would warrant its own study.)

Social networks traffic adult entertainment
Top suppliers adult entertainment traffic
Why This Matters

The key takeaway here is that porn sites have absolutely flooded the web. And the more our society becomes sexually saturated, the more porn makers pump out harder and harder material to make sure they stay on the cutting edge.

“Thirty years ago ‘hardcore’ pornography usually meant the explicit depiction of sexual intercourse,” wrote Dr. Norman Doidge, in his recent book on neuroscience, The Brain That Changes Itself. “Now hardcore has evolved and is increasingly dominated by the sadomasochistic themes…all involving scripts fusing sex with hatred and humiliation. Hardcore pornography now explores the world of [violence], while softcore is now what hardcore was a few decades ago… The comparatively tame softcore pictures of yesteryear…now show up on mainstream media all day long, in the pornification of everything, including television, rock videos, soap operas, advertisements, and so on.”

And not only is there more porn to watch, but also there are more ways than ever to watch it. Today, not only do we have high-speed Internet, we’ve got it on tap for devices we have with us 24 hours a day. Families have gone from having one shared computer to often having multiple personal laptops, smartphones, and tablets. It’s now virtually possible to have an Internet-enabled screen in front of our eyes nearly every minute of the day.

As porn’s availability has risen, so have its devastating effects on people, relationships, and society at large. As therapist John Woods recently wrote, pornography “is no longer just a private problem. It is a public health problem.”