I wanted to write a short post on my latest issue I have overcome. About 3 years ago, I started playing games/apps on my IPhone. Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, This Means War, Candy Crush, Castle Clash, Game of War, Hay Day, Fruit Ninja, Temple Run, Words with Friends, Bike Race- to name a few. It started off as a fun and entertaining time killer when standing in a long line or when I was waiting for my pizza pocket to finish heating up. As time went by, I noticed I was playing these games more and more. Collecting my fictitious gold and elixor, tapping the screen thousands of times manipulating the lighted pixels. Attacking other players across the world. Slowly, I became addicted.
Upgrading buildings and valiant fighters to the highest levels took maximum amounts of fake yellow stuff and fake purple stuff that accrue slowly over time. Once I had enough theoretical gold for my next upgrade, I had to wait up to 14 days for the upgrade to complete. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but for some reason waiting two weeks for an imaginary missile air defense to upgrade was satisfying and fulfilled my life as I knew it. Did I survive heroin addiction for this?
My everyday schedule consisted of checking all my games first thing out of bed. Well, actually, before I got out of bed. The more games you have, the longer this task takes. At times, I had up to 15 games. Usually I would delete the ones that didn’t keep my interest but there were 4 or 5 that I had played steadily for about 3 years. When I could get away with it, I played them at work and even while driving to and from work. I couldn’t go to bed without checking my games because I might get attacked! While my wife would try and talk to me, she had to talk to a man who was staring down at his phone. I tried the best I could to listen to my wife and collect my gold at the same time. There is definitely no problem here…
The games/apps are usually free to download but they have in-app purchases you can buy with real money. This is where the trigger flipped for me. The couple times my wife knew I wanted to spend real money on these games she was okay with. When I talked with her about spending real money to speed up the upgrades, I felt really embarrassed because spending real money on a bag of imaginary gems is preposterous. I knew deep down, it was a problem for me. I started spending money without anyone knowing. I knew it was something I couldn’t hide forever. Our bank statements would tell the real story and after hundreds of dollars and numerous secret purchases, I knew I had to stop.
Luckily for me, my wife understood my addiction to these games. I hated that I couldn’t leave my phone for even a second. I have since deleted all my games/apps from my phone. The first week was extremely difficult. I was used to grabbing for my phone first thing in the morning. Now, I had to learn to get out of bed like a normal human being. The extra time I get to spend with my wife makes it completely worth it. Not to mention productivity in every day life. Over the past 3 years, countless hours, as well as a good chunk of change has been wasted on these games. I have too much to offer to allow it to continue. I have big plans that will never manifest if I continue to do what I was doing.
There was some great things that came from these games. I met my wife playing Texas Holdem Poker and have also met some great people. But because of the addictive pull in playing these games, I had to thrown in the towel.
If anyone else has had this issue as well or is currently playing phone games/apps, I would love to hear your view and experience on this topic. Thanks for reading!