A little over a week ago, something fortuitous happened to me. While I was out with my family, playing Pokemon GO at one of the public parks, my phone ran out of power. When I tried to restart it later that night, I found that it was effectively bricked. The thing wouldn’t progress past the initial startup screen, no matter what I tried. I couldn’t even get it to do a factory reset (one of my housemates was able to get it to that point where it at least asked to do one, but it still wouldn’t do anything other than go to the startup screen).
We ordered a replacement, and I’m happy to say that my new phone works at least as well as its predecessor before it bricked. The bad news was that I lost most of my apps, and some of my contact information data (note to self: go through and make ALL contacts Google contacts). So, I’ve been reloading apps and re-customizing my phone back to the way I had it, more or less.
One thing that I noticed was that I had lost all of the games I tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time on–Pokemon GO, of course, being one of them. But I also spend or have spent a lot of time (and money) and other mobile games, mostly from the Marvel side of the universe. Marvel Contest of Champions, Marvel Future Fight, Avengers Academy, Marvel Avengers Alliance (1 and 2), and Marvel Puzzle Quest. You might say I like my Marvel fix.
Since I’d already gone several days without playing these time (and money) sinks without the world imploding in on me, I figured this was an opportunity to see how things would play out if I simply didn’t load any games onto my phone. My phone is with me all the time, in my pocket, unlike my other mobile devices and computers, so I figured I could load the games on to those other devices if I really wanted to play them. So far, I’m proud to say that I haven’t. And for the moment, I’ve resolved that I will go one full month–30 whole days–without putting any games on this new phone.
It’s been said that where we tend to put our time, money, and energy says a lot about how committed we are to other aspects of our lives. I know that, over the years, I’ve put a lot of time, a great deal of energy, and more money than I’d like to admit into these mobile distractions that are so slickly marketed to the public. And don’t get me wrong: I love games, and I’m pretty sure I always will. But I’m also a fan of trying to improve my life, be it in the realm of physical health, career, or creativity, and it’s impossible to deny that time put into gaming will, at some point, necessarily detract from my time in these other areas.
Maybe by keeping them off my phone for a few weeks, I can blunt my addiction to them and give myself an opportunity to level up in other aspects of my life.
In any case, we’ll see!