Time Wasters or Stress Relief?

15 11 2013
You were warned!

You were warned!

Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Words With Friends, Farmville…and the list goes on. You know what I’m talking about: those free games for Facebook. To really snare you, they make the app free to download on your phone or tablet.

A year ago, I purged a slew of these games from my phone and iPad. I decided to keep two of them and to allow only check on them at certain times. All notifications were turned OFF.

Then someone (who shall remain nameless) begged me to get Candy Crush Saga so I could help them reach higher levels. This is the noose these game inventors use.

I’m a nice person *shrugs* so I downloaded the game on my iPad. It seemed harmless enough. I didn’t see where any help was needed. Oh, right, because you have to connect it to Facebook for that option to appear.

At that time, I didn’t have a Facebook page. Do you see where this is headed? I’m morally opposed to story plots that are obvious. Shouldn’t I feel similarly about my life?

Anyway, the day came when I succumbed to the demand of social media. I want to build my author brand. Facebook is essential for platform building.

With a simple click, suddenly all my games were linked with my Facebook friends. I had a dozen games of Words going simultaneously. Candy Crush Saga reached the point where I begged others to help me “unlock” the next episode. High scores listed on Bejeweled mocked my lame attempts to demonstrate mastery.

Obviously, my competitive spirit jumped to attention and took control of my body. Possessed by this manic gamer, the era of time wasting mowed me down again. Sure, it was only four small games.

Playing these helps me relax *nods vigorously.*

It’s only a few minutes after breakfast and lunch.

When I stand up to refill my water glass, I’ll just check to see if anyone played a word.

Bathroom break – another opportunity to check and see if the three “tickets” I need have arrived so I can reach the next level and crush more candy.

“I hate this level.” My son’s response: “Then why are you playing the game.”

He doesn’t believe me when I say it’s therapeutic. For some reason, screaming at my tablet and pounding my fist on the counter don’t seem like signs of relieved stress.

Kids! What do they know?

In the end, I have had to schedule time for these games. I might check Words often, but I don’t get to spend more than 5 minutes at any one time on it. The others have allotted times during the day – times when I’m NOT on my writing clock.

Do you believe these games are time wasters? Do you think they help relieve stress? Sell me on their advantages so I can lift my personal restrictions. *Shoves game demon back into locked cabinet.*

You can find my blog posts on my author website at: http://sharonleehughson.com/blogs/

Beginning in December, all my future posts will only be available at that site. Please click the link and follow my blog from my website. Thanks. 

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