Deadliest Catch: on Why Catfishing is a Dangerous Game

Have you ever been catfished?! That is to say, have you ever been in an online relationship with someone, only to find out later that they are not all they pretended to be? Don’t be too sure, before you answer that question, do keep in mind that you may be in regular communication with one of these types on a daily basis.

Gone Fishin’

It’s no secret, this highly technological and social network infused society that we live in, has changed the face of dating forever. Indeed, approximately 1/3 of couples are now meeting online. That being said, there is clearly a large margin for error. Of the many people who meet and become happy couples, a slew of them meet and disappointingly cut ties while others still, never meet at all. Do you ever wonder why something seems so off about a person or situation but you just can’t put your finger on it? Keep reading…

What’s The Catch?

Catfish are everywhere! Virtually anyone who you communicate with online or via telephone without ever meeting them in person, is at the least somewhat fishy. Some of these people are professional con artists who prey on socially awkward people with big hearts as a means of income. Others are typically too shy and insecure to approach you as his or herself. Either way, figuring out someone who you trust and show intimate details of your life may be lying about everything they tell you is unnerving.

Where’s the Danger??

In any catfish situation, there is always a recipe for disaster. You may become totally head over heels with a fictional character or vice versa. There is also the possibility of dealing with a hardened criminal. Someone who is capable of rape, robbery, murder, or even identity theft may be contacting you. You may be handing her or him the keys to ruin your life. It may be someone you already know who is fishing for dirt to try to expose you with, or you it may even be someone who was obsessed with you long before sending a friend request. You may have to deal with feelings of betrayal, abandonment, etc. You could lose money, pride, dignity… You may even lose friends or sever relationships based on this new, fraudulent connection.

On the flip side, if you are the catfish and believe what you’re doing to be harmless, think again! There is something very dysfunctional about a person who goes such great lengths to get someone’s attention. Especially when you go so far as to use a fraudulent persona to do so. If you feel like your actions are justified due to the fact that society may have shunned you for one reason or another, think again! We all experience our fair share of adversity (yes, some more than others) but the only way to fight back is to be yourself unapologetically. Other than that, you are only validating that you aren’t good enough, which will likely cause deeper self-loathing in the future.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve ever seen MTV’s show Catfish, you are well aware of the fact that the twists and turns when dealing with these types of situations are plentiful. If you suspect you’re dealing with a catfish, your best bet may be to cut your losses and move on…before you get caught up in their net!

Venus L

Is Reality TV Scripted?

No matter where in the world you reside, there is no denying the fact that reality television is all the rage. From lavish lifestyles to deadly drama and everything in between. The main reason reality shows are so popular is because they feed our cultural curiosity―spying on people during their private time. On the flip side, there is a growing number of skeptics. Many believe that every detail is scripted (yet, most still continue to watch) and that the only real thing on reality TV are the cameras. That being said: Is reality TV scripted? Well, here’s my take on it…

No, But…

So, the short answer is no. Most reality shows are not composed of professional actors reading scripts. In fact, that’s the attraction of reality TV as a producer: little to no time wasted on writing and memorizing lines. On the flip side, many moments in these shows are very much instigated if not downright orchestrated. Why is that? Well, it boils down to this: no one wants to watch real reality. While it’s true that people are interested in people’s private lives, most care nothing about the mundane, everyday moments that would be seen if the producers did not intervene. That is to say, the purpose of filming a reality TV show is to walk away with a hit show…a notion that cannot simply be left to chance.

How it Works…

Rather than literally writing a script, producers do things such as instigate issues via confessional questioning and commentary, and orchestrate the outcome by getting the involved parties in the same room within days of pointing out said discrepancies. That is to say, in order to ensure that there is a certain level of drama, the producers utilize a guided line of questioning that is usually geared towards getting them to confront an adverse person or situation. They will then see to it that the person is in the position to be able to confront said issue within days or even hours of said interview/conversation. So, while they are not exactly telling these people what to say, they are the equivalent of a trouble making buddy who manipulates you into fighting a battle solely for their own amusement.

What’s more, this is magnified by the fact that casts of these shows usually are people who were not very good friends to begin with. Rather, these are usually people who live and work in similar arenas, but many of them rarely have if ever, taken the time to hang out and get to know each other. Add to that the fact that they often choose over-the-top personalities which are prone to conflict with one another, and this is a no-brainer recipe for turmoil. Reality TV queen, VH1’s Mona Scott-Young has been notoriously accused of utilizing these methods as a mean of orchestrating her contrived storylines.

Furthermore, let’s not discount the fact that much of the storyline comes from the cast members themselves. Many don’t realize the power of having a television audience weigh in on personal, plaguing issues. Subjects such as commitment, loyalty, marriage, and even reproduction are commonly discussed openly by members of reality show casts as a means of harvesting societal pressure in order to produce a desired outcome. That is to say, one can ignore their wife or husband’s concerns, but it becomes much more tricky when strangers on the street are stopping and inquiring, “So, when are you guys gonna have that baby already?!”

The Bottom Line…

Yes, I may be splitting hairs here, but there’s a huge difference between being scripted and orchestrated. The value of reality TV lies in the raw emotions and reactions of the cast as that is often the one thing that can’t be controlled or faked. On some level, these shows are fictitious. However, from a sociological perspective, this is the closest we may ever get to ethically snooping in on people’s personal lives. Indeed, all too often, all it takes to get someone to act out of character, is to give them an audience.

Venus L

The Beatdown

When my mind goes into wandering mode, sometimes I think about what I’d do in an emergency. Would I freeze up, fall to the floor and curl up into a ball? Maybe if I survived a plane crash, I would remember what I’ve learned watching disaster movies and crawl around trying to help others. I’d like to think if I was in that Brooklyn McDonald’s when that young girl got jumped last week, I would have tried to somehow diffuse the situation before it got out of hand.

“Welp, time to break out my camera phone and get this on video so I can post it before the fight is over! Oh, and ladies you might want to put your weaves in this bucket, no sense in getting them all tangled up.”

It’s easy for me to say that I would have intervened when it was clear that this was a severe attack by several on one. That’s why I’m saying it. Still, I probably would’ve been jumped myself by the girls or even the guys who felt I shouldn’t be interfering. I am not surprised no one stepped in until the end-and if that guy didn’t-we would have seen a murder. Nowadays, it is more important to record events than experience them in real time. Facebook and Instagram have become slide shows and home movies of the lives of people we barely know. We decided that was boring back in the 50’s and 60’s.

Everything about this beat down was sickening, but the worst was the victim claiming fame for being assaulted and humiliated. Instead of cooperating with the hated cops, she opted to accept “congratulations” on social media.

I caught a beating in high school from a sax player. I started it, but came up woefully short in the ensuing throw down and ended up with a beauty of a black eye. When I came home my dad laughed like a hyena before giving me a hunk of raw steak to put on my eye. The last thing I wanted was publicity.

These kids today….

William Stephenson

Top 5 Ways Watching Porn Ruins Your Sex Life

It’s no secret, pornographic videos are a billion dollar industry. Though I am by no means suggesting that viewing porn is deviant or immoral behavior, I believe it’s fine time that people begin to examine the side effects of regularly watching pornography. Please consider:

The Top 5 Ways Watching Porn Ruins Your Sex Life…

5. Unrealistic Expectations– OK, clearly porn is a part of the film industry…which means it’s all staged. This is an obvious element of these films. Nevertheless, the lack of even a proper introduction and not so much as a dinner date and couples dive straight into (pun unintended) hardcore sex? Slightly unrealistic to say the very least. On the flip side,this does seem to be something that is becoming more and more common place in this day and age; random hook-ups and flings? Could there be some correlation?

4. Improper Technique– The purpose of porn is to entertain and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that most of these videos are made by and for the male species. That being said, almost nothing about watching porn will show a man how to truly please a woman’s body. They may show you how to make her curse, scream, holler, and claw…but I believe you’ll that such actions do not always equate to pleasure in the real world. If you’re watching porn for bedroom tips, you’re doing it wrong…

3. No Intimacy– The main feature of porn is said to be the ‘wham, bam, thank you ma’am’ approach to sex. That is to say there is very little talking, holding, kissing, or anything that may slightly resemble true love and affection in these videos. This is all well and good, but this is also one of the top complaints when it comes to women being dissatisfied in the bedroom. If you have heard or even made this complaint before perhaps you should take a moment to find out why someone would be so comfortable having full on sex with a person…yet not comfortable looking them in the eyes or holding their hand. Counter-intuitive to say the very least…

2. Instant Gratification– As aforementioned, the premise of most porn videos is to introduce 2 people and get them having sex as quick as possible. To take it a step further, many turn to pornography when they are experiencing sexual frustration. This is not necessarily the worst thing in the world, however, sometimes the reason we are experiencing said frustration is because we need to work on our relationships or ourselves. The usage of porn in these instances usually hurt instead of help the situation.

1. There’s No ‘Unsee’ Button– The things we see stick with us. From what I gather, there are hundreds or even thousands of different genres of pornography. Some are more on the ‘normal’ side while others are far to the left. Either way, mistakenly coming across a disgusting video is something that may stay imprinted in your brain, and thus affect your libido, for the remainder of your life. Indeed, even clicking on various posts on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can introduce you to a whole new world that you neither knew, nor wanted to know, existed.

The Bottom Line…

Pornography will likely always be a controversial issue. Whether you choose to view it regularly or not, do keep in mind that these scenes are not real and the only way to have a happy sex life is to communicate with your partner.

Venus L

Oldie but Goodies: Top 5 Youtube Workouts for Seniors

Staying in shape is important at every age. Thought many believe they lack the time and/or resources to stay fit, the internet has contributed largely to giving individuals the knowledge and tutorials to get/stay fit in the comfort of their very own homes. No matter how busy or sedentary your lifestyle, rest assured that there is always time for exercise. After combing through pages and pages of free workout videos for seniors, I have compiled a list of the 5 that are the most effective without requiring too much time, equipment, or movement. Welcome to:

The Top 5 Youtube Workouts for Seniors

5. Senior Citizen Forever Young Cardio Aerobics– Time Commitment: 14:46. Equipment Needed: None. Target: Full Body. Join Senior aerobics instructor, Victoria Popoff, as she dances and instructs to some timeless tracks. Yes, sweat to the oldies with this fun and effective workout perfect for anyone seeking for low impact cardio. And who knows, you may even learn a new step or 2…

4. Pilates for Seniors-Great Pilates Workout for Beginners and Seniors (Part 1)– Time Commitment: 10 minutes.  Equipment Needed: Mat or Soft Floor. Target: Full Body/ Strength Training. Looking for a low impact way to tone and strengthen your entire body?! Look no further! Try this short workout and introduction into the wonderful world of Pilates. This is a floor workout but this is also something that could be tried from the comfort of your own couch or bed, safely of course…

3. Actively Aging Energizing Chair Yoga– Time Commitment: 33:09. Equipment Needed: A Stable Chair. Target: Full Body/ Balance/ Stretching/ Flexibility. It’s never too late to learn a new skill! Yoga is arguably one of the best types of workouts for seniors as it is notoriously low impact and utilizes personal strengths while improving weak areas. Grab a chair and join Sherry Zak Morris, E-RYT as she instructs you into a thinner, leaner, stronger body.

2.Fit Over 50- Abdominal Exercises– Time Commitment: 6:34. Equipment Needed: A Mat and 2 dumbbells. Target: Abdominal Muscles. Who says you have to be young to have washboard abs?! This short workout was created on the popular free tutorial site MonkeySee.com, this is the perfect workout for those who are seeking to tone up their midsection. Short but effective, this is not only good for seniors, it’s good for everyone! Grab a mat and a set of small free weights (1-5 pounds to start) and jump on in!

1. Jane Fonda Walking Cardio Workout: Level 1– Time Commitment: 26:45. Equipment Needed: 1 Chair. 1 Towel. This one is simultaneous a blast from the past and glimpse into the future. Watch and sweat along with the lovable actress, Jane Fonda as she shows that hard work pays off at every age. Indeed, with a better figure than many 20-year-olds, Fonda presents a series of low impact moves that are sure to get your blood pumping and your body back in shape!

Overall

Staying fit and healthy is of high importance to everyone, especially seniors. Share this list with any senior who needs a little fitness push or anyone who may have an inactive senior in their lives. Email, text them, or just invite them over and do the workout with them! And as always, make sure you consult a physician before beginning any new workout plan. Happy training!

Venus L

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