UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | November 10, 2022

App obsessions deprive productivity

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   “Flappy Bird,” “Candy Crush Saga,” “Fruit Ninja” and “Angry Birds” are addictive, pointless games.

   Mobile phones have shifted the American culture. The Internet, social media, video games and more are now available in your pocket. That access has given people the need to be entertained at all times.

   If we aren’t looking at someone’s wall on Facebook then we are surfing the Internet or listening to music. When we get bored with those things, the next place to go for entertainment is the mobile phone games.

   I have a folder on my phone dedicated to games. I’m always downloading new games and deleting old ones. I don’t know how much time I have spent on mobile phone games like “Flappy Bird.” Frankly, I don’t want to find out because I would probably be embarrassed.

   Each of those mobile phone games is, or was, a massively popular game. Millions of people have downloaded these games. According to a CNN article titled “Addicted gamers are sweet on Candy Crush,” there are more than 15 million daily-users of  the “Candy Crush Saga.” 

   None of these games are inherently bad, but something about the simplicity of the design and difficulty of actual gameplay causes something similar to an addiction. No addictions are healthy. Video games can be included in that.

   There will always be a new game to replace the current addiction. When one fad fades, a new one pops up to take its place, and people are more than happy to transfer their addictions to the next game. 

   I downloaded “Flappy Bird,” not really knowing what it was and quickly got addicted. All I wanted to do was get past two sets of pipes. Once I managed to get past two, seven wasn’t enough. Neither was 16 or 20. Well, that was until I found a new fun game in the App-Store. I really liked “Flappy Bird” but only for its 15 minutes of fame, and then I moved on.

   It is incredible to think people can actually be that enthralled with tapping the screen of their phone to make a simply-designed bird flap through side-scrolling pipes. People spend hours tapping their phones for this. 

   “Candy Crush Saga” has about 500 levels. That is 500 levels of shifting sugary sweets around, trying to get rows or columns of the same type of candy. There is a bit of problem-solving that must be done as the difficulty increases, but that doesn’t make it a productive activity. People are wasting hours and hours shifting candy around for 500 levels for absolutely no reason. People are no better after reaching level 500 than they were before starting.

   Naturally, people feel the competitive urge to beat their friends’ high scores, but that shouldn’t be the sole purpose of their day. 

   As college students, we have a lot more important things we could be doing rather than playing “Candy Crush Saga.” I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten distracted by “Flappy Bird” when I should have been studying.

   According to a Fox News article titled “Teens and video games: How much is too much?” teens average between nine and 13 hours a week playing video games. In that much time you could most likely read all the reading assignments for 15 credits worth of classes, do homework, and still have time to go to some school activities.

   We need to turn off our phones and give “Flappy Bird” a break. We live in a beautiful area with so much to offer. Let’s try to enjoy our lives outside of the addictive mobile game world. It isn’t going anywhere.