Comfort Zone, Notifications and Small Appliances• Reading Time : 7 min
Actually, I thought the topic of this article was digital minimalism. But I made a small change in line with some of the new publications I’ve read recently. In fact, I brought this article forward.
Yet when we look at minimalism in the digital world, it’s not just about what technologies we allow into your life, but also about how you use them. So what does the comfort zone mean in general and how does it affect our quality of life when interpreted together with the digital world?
What is a Comfort Zone?
Before going into the details, it is necessary to correctly define what the comfort zone is. At least so that what I wrote can stay connected to the main topic…
As the name suggests, a comfort zone is a region or zone where we feel comfortable. As long as we stay in this space, we don’t feel pressured, anxious or stressed. It sounds good when it’s defined that way, yes, but unfortunately it’s not what we think it is.
If I were to say that the region of our consciousness that is the element of complacency, a lover of snuggling, closed to development, always thinking about comfort and keeping us under pressure, would I be describing it very badly this time. Anyway, let’s not face the harsh realities right away, but let’s look at the details of the comfort zone that sounds good and is actually not. Let’s even interpret how this is shaped by the elements offered by modern technology.
Dangerous Area to Live - Comfort Zone
So why is it so bad for us to stay in the comfort zone all the time? The first and most prominent word is “change”. Unfortunately, when we are comfortable, we are less inclined to make the changes we want to make in our lives. Many times we avoid change and lean on our fears. Naturally the comfort zone pulls us into its territory. As a result, we either end up with a routine that continues in a vicious circle, closed to development and productivity, or a life that has become completely ordinary, maybe even stopped. If you paid attention to this part, two keywords stood out - change and fear.
In summary, it is fear and naturally inhibition of change that keeps us in comfort zone or prevents us from leaving this zone for change. Then items such as “fear of change”, “fear of failure” and “fear of the unknown” push us into this area or make it difficult for us to get out. Yes it is true, but the most important for me to define this; humankind’s survival skills, which contain the feeling of struggle for the first time since its existence, gather in the comfort zone.
Perfect Balance: Comfort Zone vs. Doing Hard Things
As you know, Neuroscientists study the cellular, functional, behavioral, evolutionary, molecular and medical aspects of the nervous system. One of the current research contains excellent details for the sense of pain and pleasure. There has been discussion about where and how they arise in our minds and bodies, and various ways of controlling their intensity.
On the subject, what draws my attention is that pleasure and pain are in the same place, or in other words, the parts of the brain that process pleasure also process pain. Pleasure and pain work like a balance. So what does that matter in a comparison like comfort zone and doing hard things. Yes, now we have come to the part where the subject will be further clarified.
In the introduction to this chapter, I mentioned that pleasure and pain work together and are in a certain balance. In other words, if we are doing something that will satisfy the pleasure part of the brain at that moment (social media, netflix, youtube videos, etc.), we need to offer a response in which the brain will understand that it is dealing with pain or hard work at the same rate. Of course, since we do not do this, or rather, the feeling of satisfaction and pleasure of the brain is constantly fed, even if the brain wants to find a balance, it turns to the easy one and makes it a habit, as you can imagine.
Digitization and the Survival of Sapiens
Today, especially smartphones and social media platforms have become a constant source of entertainment and virtual dopamine. That’s why human beings spend a long part of their day satisfying the pleasure region of the brain, and unfortunately, the struggle in the cell’s past is losing its power to deal with difficult tasks day by day. Since human beings no longer need to struggle to survive outside of digitalization, they have reached a comfort zone that has no purpose and does not know what to do.
If you don’t drop your phone or if you leave the entertainment sources you are interested in the digital world, normal life, daily work has become more boring, know that things have started to deteriorate without you realizing it. So, is it possible to reverse engineer this? More precisely, if the pleasure zone has been satisfied for a long time, can a balance be found by dealing with hard work? The answer is yes, of course, but for this, the system has a great improvement to seduce you and keep you in your pleasure zone; notifications.
When I was writing about Fediverse and decentralized social media, I talked long enough about Web 2.0. A period when the internet should have been shaped better, started well and then turned into an extremely centralized structure that always pushed the comfort zone, especially with social media and smart phones, instant notifications and every like, news or video content.
At this point, you can say “but it’s up to us to turn off notifications”, but the situation has become such that unfortunately the community that has a smartphone in their hands does not have this awareness or they already want it knowingly (the people who say yes to every notification they see).
It would be good to underrline; The good thing about push notifications is that they ensure you don’t miss anything happening right now. The downside is that you never know when the next distraction will come. This naturally means that things are happening outside of your control. To put it more brutally, your life begins to be controlled and you begin to live in a vicious circle with a virtual satisfaction in which your comfort zone is triggered.
Small Home Appliances
Let this be my deception of making a striking headline while creating my own content :) Actually, although I don’t want to go directly from the digital dimension of the job, if we go around the main topic “comfort zone and the factors that affect it”, there are small but difficult things in our lives where we can use our motor skills. . At this point, small appliances do their best to keep you in your comfort zone when you want to move around and do simple household chores. Instead of slicing carrots with a knife, we use a food processor or to cook eggs there is an egg cooker (not even allowed for 5-minute tracking with a stopwatch):). You know, those empty but free times that occur when there is no notification, actually exist for this very reason. Rest assured, nothing satisfies you more than a breakfast or dinner that you cut, slice, cook and follow the process. Or things will soon turn into something like in this episode of Love, Death & Robots :)
To sum up, technology, we cannot live with it all the time, but we certainly cannot live without it. But we will stop being digital slaves when we learn how to find the balance by transforming the need for constant knowledge and nutrition into practice (physically) to a certain extent, and including the need to interact with others (social media).
We will feel more in control every time we step out of the comfort zone that I have tried to describe and give various examples above and add in a certain balance the hard work that improves us.