I consider myself to be a reasonably well balanced person on the whole. I like to exercise a few times a week because it makes me feel good about eating more pasta. I try and have
a few, well three, ok maybe two wine free nights a week, and I try and balance my actual clothes shopping purchases with virtual online store wishlists (try it, it’s quite therapeutic).
But, it was a different type of store purchase that caused me the most sleepless nights, and for a while there consumed nearly my every waking thought- and that would be ‘free’ online games downloaded through the iTunes App Store.
It all started innocently enough. I was late to the smart phone revolution, and was skeptical that I would use my phone for anything but as a phone and camera (oh, sweet naive soul). Before long, I was lured into my addiction by peer pressure- and not surprisingly that would be via my computer savvy kids. After purchasing a few ‘educational games’ (because that makes us feel better about all the time they spend on idevices, right?) I saw a review on the App store for a fun little game called Tiny Tower. In this game you build floors and move ‘bitizens’ into apartments and businesses to live and work (sounds riveting doesn’t it). After a few mildly obsessed weeks, I found myself seriously contemplating buying 500 Tower Bux for the bargain price of $24.99, so that I could buy the ‘Ultra Lift 3000 Extreme Elevator’ (yes, really) in order to move between floors quicker. What the bux was I thinking? Luckily, I was able to come to my senses, and firmly deleted the app, never to be seen again (with the odd twinge of regret- how awesome would that Extreme lift have been?)
But like any addict, I was always on the lookout for something shiny and new to try- and boy did I hit the motherload, thanks to a load of mothers all busy playing with their phones at school pick up: Candy Crush Saga. Now, at this point you are probably either nodding your head with sympathy, have no idea what I’m talking about, or are huddled in a corner, eyes glazed and fingers trembling as you try yet again to get past level 270 before you lose all your lives. Many articles have been written about the vice like grip this innocent looking game can have on your life, and I was no exception. Children went hungry, the dog went unwalked, my husband looked at me with sad disappointed eyes every night in bed, as I would say without looking up, “just one more level and then I’ll stop” (which of course was a blatant lie- I mean they obviously invented spinning chocolate wheels just to torture me).
A few months into my addiction, my husband “accidentally” deleted Candy Crush from my phone (he swears he thought he was deleting it from his phone, but I have my serious doubts). My immediate thought was ‘divorce’, swiftly followed by incredulous disbelief- I was nearly up to level 178, and all that ‘hard work’ had vanished without a trace. Then, as I reflected on the amount of time I had actually spent playing this game, I eventually felt a sense of relief that I would no longer spend all my spare moments as a slave to colour bombs and striped/wrapped lolly combos. I was finally free from Candy Kingdom!
So to any of my fellow app addicts out there, I can only offer the following words of advice: stay strong, delete that App, and make sure you remove it from the Cloud (you may need to pay a trained technician $385 to do that part- no one knows how that thing works). Then, just like me you can regain the joyous carefree life you once had, full of screaming kids, demanding pets, and complaining husbands.
Yes, it feels so good to no longer be addicted to silly games on my phone. Now, excuse me as it’s been a few minutes since I last checked my Facebook feed, and I really must see if anyone liked my photos on Instagram!
I know I’m not the only one who has an iPhone addiction- I just swapped from games to social media- any tips or tricks to help me out?