Maybe Angry Birds Isn’t a Waste of Time
Back in the day (think 1983), I used to love a game of Space Invaders or Centipede…at the arcade. It was a treat, not a daily recreational activity.
With mobile phones and computers, games are now accessible 24/7. Someone recently asked me if I thought Angry Birds is a waste of time. My initial life on purpose reaction was “hell yes”, but then I started to think about it. While it might be a waste of time for some, perhaps it’s a worthwhile investment for you.
If you really enjoy doing something, is it worth the time you spend?
If you don’t know what Angry Birds is, consider yourself in the minority. According to Rovio, the creators, its Angry Birds app is being downloaded 60,000 times per day. But perhaps more astonishing is that 77 percent of Angry Birds owners update the game as soon as an update becomes available–which is a strong indication that people continue to play.
While I’m sure I could find endless statistics of how video games make our kids fat and unproductive, this post is not about that. It’s about grown adults spending time with virtual birds, or cows or spaceships or whatever.
I can’t tell you how to spend your time but with all the complaining we do about not having enough time, it seems frivolous to waste it. That said, maybe we need to waste a little time to appreciate it, or wind down. But, if that’s the case, why are we so wound up?
In my opinion, Facebook is the gateway time suck. Farmville and Mafia Wars aside, hours can fly by catching up on things that are really important to other people. I’ve spent hours looking through someone’s vacation pictures, that I haven’t spoken with for 20+ years, and yet, I still haven’t organized my own vacation photos from a trip two years ago.
Until I killed my TV last July, I spent countless hours unwinding in front of the magical box. Now that it’s gone, the last thing I want to do is replace TV with Facebook, or Angry Birds. Instead I want to…
- Linger over dinner
- Write a book
- Practice yoga
- Learn to speak Spanish
- Make hummus
- Read a book
- Take a nap
- Make new friends
- Go to the movies
- Call friends that live far away
- Be creative
What does your list look like? If Angry Birds is on the list, consider the appeal. Is it a distraction, entertainment, or just a replacement for TV? Maybe it’s the way you decompress. Video games have never been relaxing for me. I remember after a mean game of Space Invaders or firing up Atari, my heart would be racing. Next time you play (Angry Birds, Facebook, other video-ish games), check in with yourself when you quit. Do you feel relaxed?
Games like Monopoly, Twister and Life used to be a way to connect. Todays video games and apps provide escape and require isolation.
Maybe the question isn’t, “is Angry Birds a waste of time?” but “Is there anything else I’d rather be doing?” If the answer is “Yes, I’d rather be doing ________”, then why aren’t you doing that?
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