Monthly Archives: March 2014

Why I quit Candy Crush

Hi, my name is Lorinda and I’m a Candyholic. I quit Candy Crush 8 days ago.  For those who know me well, this is a big deal. For those who know me even better, you might be thinking “Candy Crush? There are 20 other apps that she’s addicted to”. And sure, I have yet to kick Facebook and Instagram. But at least I can continue to pretend that these apps have some form of social benefit. (Keep an eye on my blog post in April when I give up social media for a month!)

But more importantly, what is Candy Crush? Here are the top 10 facts you need to know about this addictive game. P.S. If you’ve never played this game, DO NOT START!

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When you look at all of the items in your life, which ones could you truly live without? There are essentials such as sunlight, food, exercise, water, social interaction, health etc. But there are many activities in our day-to-day lives that do not benefit us at all. But there are obvious benefits to our psyche otherwise we wouldn’t repeat them.  A new Harvard study shows evidence as to why posting to Facebook or Twitter can be just as pleasurable as eating food, getting money or even having sex. Even acts that we might not see as pleasurable, such as self-harm, have an endorphin-releasing payoff.

Pleasure from something we know is bad for us? That is harmful? Why would we willingly continue?

My addiction to Candy Crush is shared by many millions of people from all walks of life. An astonishing 700 million games of Candy Crush are played everyday on mobile devices alone. And the main demographic is 25-55 year old women. I turn 32 this year, and I feel it’s time for me to kick Candy Crush to the curb. Why now? Here are some of the reasons:

  • It’s a time waster. Sometimes a couple of minutes, often a lot more.
  • I would play the game at the detriment to sleep, socialising, getting the most out of life.
  • There is no real life value in playing the game. Bragging rights? Sure, when I tell people that I’m up to level 530 most people look at me with pity rather than awe.
  • There is no conclusion to the game. I like to solve a problem, beat a level and move on with my life. This game keeps inventing new levels at a rapid pace.
  • I keep saying that I should read, cook, sleep, socialise more, but that I have no time. What about time for Candy Crush?

And what will I gain from quitting? Perhaps more time to devote to other time wasters. I might also have to quit a few other apps in my life that are a drain on my time and energy. If you’re thinking of quitting Candy Crush, Facebook, or anything in life, I’d recommend reading this Huffington Post article on ways to kick unwanted habits.

I’ve spoken mainly about Candy Crush. But what’s the big deal right? It’s just a game. Much like eating real candy, a couple of sweet treats are fine, but more than that can cause a stomach ache. Repetitive consumption over days, weeks, years can cause health problems and even death.

This got me thinking about certain aspects of education. Are there areas of our westernised education system that are bad for us? Time wasting? Of no real life value? That we repeat over and over again to receive a better score. Standardised testing can sometimes fall into this category. Teaching to the test. Cookie cutter curriculum. What do we really want our students to learn? Yes, I agree that literacy and numeracy skills are extremely important. Are these skills really improving due to our obsession with ‘the next level’ of scores?

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But just like Candy Crush, do we feel like we can’t quit because we’ve invested so much time and effort into reaching the next level? Do we get a buzz out of high stakes testing? Do these tests actually measure educational quality?

There are many things that can’t be measured by a test. I think that it’s time to look carefully at areas of our work, school, social, personal lives that are not essential and even detrimental to what’s really important. And not just to identify those areas, but to quit. You might lose a life, a level, a way of doing things. But there is so much more to be gained.

(In the comments section, please add areas of education that you believe are time wasting, level ticking activities that might need rethinking or quitting)

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