App-solutely Addicted

A couple of weeks ago, the daily business of the DiaryOf household ground to a sudden halt.

candyMy housekeeping skills have never been the best, I confess, (more of a lick and a promise type than a proper scrubber), but this time I really let the place go. Culinary standards slipped also, with the husband and kids not sure whether to be thrilled or worried at this – diminished vegetable – development. I stopped reading improving literature (thrillers are improving literature, I will argue to the death on it) and even my twitter addiction was halted.

And, while it is never ideal to interrupt normal service like this, there some cases where it might be excusable, understandable, and probably acceptable. You know, illness, or an important life event, or a big row with someone. This was definitely not so in my case. Everything – thank goodness – was rosy on the personal front. So, what caused my lapse from duty? Well, embarrassingly, a computer game called Candy Crush Saga was behind it all.

For those of you not in the know on such things, Candy Crush Saga is an App. You load it on your phone / tablet / whatever you use for social media, and away you go. Until recently, my App usage was limited to Facebook, Twitter and The Train-Line. I was happy. But then it started. My vow never to let the children near my beautiful tablet (birthday present, much loved) was broken. Dora appeared, as did Thomas. The kids adored them, and shortly afterwards I found myself trawling the App Store for free kids’ games. I hit on Candy Crush Saga, and the earth shook. In the beginning I convinced myself that I was just seeing whether it was suitable for the two small ones. But, then, I got through to the next level, and the next, and the one after. I wasn’t playing for the kids anymore, I was playing for me. Cue failure to vacuum, refusal to cook decent dinners etc.

I would love to be able to say that Candy Crush Saga is a game that requires skill, talent and acute brain power. It doesn’t. It requires that you (or rather, I) match a row of coloured sweeties. It’s like a more complicated Connect 4, or even Xs and Os. There are various things thrown in to tantalise you (me) and to keep you (me) hooked. And hooked I was. I found myself dreaming of it at night, I thought about it on the school run, on one sad and sorry occasion, I nipped downstairs in the middle of the night for a quick round. Just as well there wasn’t money involved. In fact there are opportunities to spend real money, but happily I managed to keep my financial sanity intact. In truth, it was more of a challenge to play without the help that money can provide – something the makers of the game may not have expected or wanted.

This type of addiction has happened once before. Way back when perms were in fashion, and Stock, Aitken and Waterman dominated the charts, I had a similar lapse. The tool that time was a Gameboy and the game was Tetris. I neglected my maths homework, I dreamed of blocks coming down and falling into place and I hid in corners where I could play in peace. I can’t remember how it ended, but it did end – just as my brief, but overwhelming, affair with Candy Crush Saga would have to end. As I looked around my grubby house one evening, I knew it had to go.

Without looking back, I deleted the App, resurrected my Hoover, and recommenced wasting any spare time I do have on Twitter. Of course, I will never be sucked in again. I am wiser now. I may also purchase Connect Four, just in case the hunger to line coloured things up does hit again.

About DiaryOf

Diary Of is a regular blog, by a regular Greenwich mum. Sharing experiences as a local parent (and member of this website) she’ll be writing about everything and anything. And being completely anonymous – you never know – you could have stood next to her in the Post Office or behind her in Cafe W…