How I deleted Farmville and took back my life
Farmville is one of the most popular games on Facebook. It is a flash-based game in which you develop and maintain your own farm. In order to be successful, you need to get followers or neighbors who will help fertilize your crops, feed your chickens and will send you gifts. In return, you do the same for all your followers. You also need to regularly plant new crops, buy new animals and trees and harvest them in order to earn money to buy items like vehicles and houses for the game.
My Farmville addiction started out very slowly. I noticed a few friends had added Farmville and were playing regularly so I thought I would give it a try. For months I just had a handful of neighbors and my farm grew very slowly.
Then, this past Christmas, Farmville introduced a Christmas tree in which you had to collect 100 Christmas presents to fill your tree. Since I had so few neighbors, I was collecting gifts slowly. So, I posted on the Farmville.com forum asking for neighbors. Within a few short days, I had more neighbors than I would want. Of course, I had to add all these people as friends on Facebook. So, in addition to Farmville stuff, strangers were invited into my life.
I did reach 100 Christmas tree presents before Christmas Eve. But, Farmville began to feel more like a chore than a game. For one thing, there were so many status reports about the game that it began to take over my front page and I was missing status reports from my real friends. The game has so many status messages that many have begun to hide them on their Facebook front page. I was spending more and more time on Facebook just collecting bonuses, sharing bonuses, sending gifts, fertilizing and helping out on neighbor’s farms. And then there is the upkeep of your own farm and having to harvest before your crops die and harvesting your animals and trees.
My life was suffering
Everything was starting to suffer; my writing, my reading, my interactions with friends and even my TV watching. I began avoiding Facebook more and more often just because I didn’t want to face the status reports and the gift requests. I began to feel guilty if I couldn’t harvest all of my friend’s farms.
So, one day I just said the heck with it. I deleted the Farmville application, I unfriended all the people I had added just through Farmville, and believe it or not felt guilty for about 10 minutes. I felt I had let these people down. But, I got over that quickly and went back to spending quality time on Facebook. I only kept 2 game applications and I started getting back in touch with friends I felt I had neglected. I had never conversed with any of my Farmville neighbors other than through status popups from inside the game. Of course, some of my “real” Facebook friends still play Farmville. But some of them are getting tired of it.
Notice Rawlus in the trailer, he is not a Farmville player...at least I don't think he is
It is very easy to get addicted to a game like Farmville. It first starts out as a way to relax, to escape the stresses of the working world and quickly becomes something you have to do every day and sometimes five times a day. In my opinion, it really is a “time thief”. There are so many more productive ways to spend your days online or offline.
I am glad I took the step to escape Farmville. I am back on track with my writing and with keeping in touch with friends and relatives. Yes, I do play some games. But I choose games that I know I will not play for hours on end.
You can do it too
Are you a Farmville addict? Do you need help to escape this time-sucking addiction? You can get that monkey off your back and it doesn’t involve rehab. Just delete the application. Come on, you can do it. It’s easy. It’s not real.
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