The Vice of Stimulation and the Curse of Comfort 

I see people buying stuff just because they’re bored, sometimes in the hundreds of pounds, even when they do not intend to buy anything, they do so nonetheless. They fall victim to the ever more sophisticated marketing that hacks the undisciplined minds of the greater populace.  

Boredom is a natural phenomenon. It is a normal experience for humans, yet it has grown so foreign that, rather than face it, we go towards the instant, easy and abundant hyperbolic discounting. Can’t have a second of silence, must fill it with noise. Got to drink caffeine, beer, wine, whiskey and energy drinks. Oh, got to eat something sweet, something spicy, something fat. Can’t have nothing, must have something – anything.  

That’s why people masturbate, even when they are bored – especially when bored. Held at constant sexual stimulation and with all other desires quenched, why not the ultimate one? It’s easy. It is just right there on every screen in every room and every space. Browsing social media and buying products. We crave that stimulation to our reward centers that these pleasurable acts provide. No discipline is taught and we become stimulant junkies. De facto, we are slaves to our vices which hold us in a crushing grip, getting tighter and tighter with every moment of comfort.  

This sense of comfort helps breed apathy. Comfort crushes and it is hard to escape when at every turn it is present. How can one escape it if it has been there all your life and when it is all you have ever known? One will be hard pressed to find a space not compromised by comfort. It is hard for the everyday person to even fathom. No wonder they cannot go beyond it, to a place where they could begin to live.  

The comfort zone is literally constricting us and reducing our agency. We chase pleasure, not looking around and aware of our surroundings, but stare right ahead to the carrot in front of our faces. We become easy prey for those who control the production of vice. Who holds the carrot? It is the same one who holds the stick. 

When we become conditioned to pleasure it becomes an expectation in our daily lives. We assume it will be present and so, rather than being a positive extra, it burrows itself into our consciousness as the norm, since our receptors and chemical pathways have gotten used to the experiences and substances our environment provides. We become entitled to it. We become spoilt children.  

Why are these problems hard to root out: Vice and Addiction? Every stick has two ends and we do not want to remove pleasure altogether from human lives. Pleasure of any kind is enjoyable. It often might be the one thing in people’s lives to get them through the day. In fact, this is why it becomes so destructive. One cannot see an enemy if all one sees is an apparent friend.  

Sources of addiction, like social media, may prove useful. They are important and profitable for some or too much hassle to get rid of because the thing has become too ingrained in the culture like alcohol. It takes a while for people to notice the downsides of their addiction that are latent in their manifestation, at which point it is too late for the subject, whom has grown too dependent on the vice in question. People cannot self-analyze and finally resist against these forces.  

Pleasure should not be the goal of our lives. Pleasure should come from fulminant which is derived from meaning, meaning from purpose, purpose from acknowledged value.   

We cannot be the babe suckling upon the teat. Freedom cannot be found in infancy. 

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