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How to overcome addiction to Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush Saga… where does one begin. It does strange things to your brain the way no other game could. A real time drainer.

Candy Crush is seriously a strong addiction and hard to get over. I’ve personally experienced this first hand just very recently.

Playing Candy Crush is really a waste of time and life. The higher we go, the more difficult it would be to give up. How easy it is to just forget our troubles and stress…. and just sit down and swipe the same coloured candies together.

The action of putting candies in the row and having the voice said “Sweet!”, “Delicious!”  and watching a single action caused multiple of points building up was so fulfilling.  Or being able to move up one level after getting stuck on it for days feels victorious (even though I have my suspicion on how come the candies just miraculously arranged itself to my favour after days of being stuck at a level).

My experience with Candy Crush addiction

Candy Crush Saga addiction

In the past, I used to wonder why my friends and colleagues were always playing Candy Crush Saga at their available free time. I see people with their heads either buried in Facebook or Candy Crush in the train, at bus stops, restaurants and when they are a passenger in the car.

I was never tempted to download the game or play it despite getting a number of (annoying) invitations from Facebook friends.

Until end of last month…  when I wanted to try to get my mom to play the game. My mom is getting more forgetful and I wanted to keep her brains active by getting her to play Candy Crush. I reckon since the game is well known for being addictive, I may get her interested in playing the game.

A BIG MISTAKE!

I downloaded the application from Playstore. Because I did not know how to play Candy Crush (by now you probably think I came from Mars, rite), I had to play it so that  I could teach her.

Who was I kidding? My mom who does not know even how to operate a simple mobile phone, let alone Smartphone was not the least interested. She said merely looking at the screen made her feel ‘drained’.

The whole idea backfired on me. I ended up getting addicted to the game. The first night after I played Candy Crush, I remembered going to bed being mesmerized by the images of the candies. It was strange because I don’t think many things in the world could have given this kind of effect… you know…the images of the candies moving 3 in a row and disappearing ….and you felt a strong force compelling you to play it.

Then few evenings later…I finished my chores and wanted to rest a while before taking a bath. So why not just play Candy Crush?

It was 7.40pm when I started and I only put the phone down by 1.40am!

I literally played non stop on the phone. No toilet breaks and no drinking water. I was just so engrossed in the game.

And oh, in case you are wondering what I do when I got stuck, well, I actually have 2 mobile phones so I installed on both phones. When I ran out of lives on one phone, I would play using another phone. When I went out of lives on both phones,  I installed Candy Crush Soda (which was not as fun as Candy Crush Saga) so that I could play while waiting for my lives to come back.

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Pathetic isn’t it?

This went on for a few weeks. Even though I did not send like 5 hours straight like that crazy night, I did spend few hours almost daily on Candy Crush. I still have sense of responsibility to ensure all my work are done for the day before I pick up the phone to play.

I think I reached level 114 on one of the phone without paying a single dime. I knew I was wasting far too much of time on Candy Crush but you know… swiping the candies together, overcoming when you are stuck and figuring out ways to play better was fun, it was fulfilling.

At the back of my mind, even as I was swiping the candies together, I hated the fact that I was wasting time and not focusing on what is important. When my mom spoke to me, I could hardly focus because I was so engrossed getting the candies together. Some levels are hard and I wanted to keep on trying.

Each time, I am able to put down the phone after I exhausted all my lives (at first I played on both phones like mentioned above)… but when the level difference was huge, I begin to focus on only the one with the higher level.

How My Addiction was Wiped Out in One Wrong Click

Having experienced the addiction of Candy Crush first hand, I know that all the logical reasoning that we give ourselves is not going to work. Much like Korean Drama addiction.

I would say that fortunately for me, when I registered for Candy Crush, I did not use my email or my Facebook account. Reason… I just wanted to play anonymously. However, as I reached higher levels, I became tempted to see how many of my FB friends are on Candy Crush and on what level they are in. I thought it would be fun that when they announce the levels, it would be with friends whom I recognize rather than strangers.

So I tried to connect via Facebook.

And lost all my levels…. I went to over level 100 back to level 1!!

All my hardwork of these weeks went down the drain!

At first, I tried to search in Google for answers and realized that because I did not register my email or Facebook, I end up losing my levels. There are some who shared that you can chat with King’s team to reinstate by providing your unique id. I did not know how to find the id.

And ya know what…. because I had lost all levels, I just did not want to go through it all again.

It was a blessing, in fact and with that, I managed to quit cold turkey.

I still had the app on my phones but I shudder to think of how many more endless hours I would have to waste to arrive back the level. Especially I hated the candies with the bomb because sometimes it seemed so impossible to get rid of all of them…I am not going through that stage again.

It was as if I suddenly woke up from the Sugar Crush trance and realized… it is not worth it.

I have seen many people had sought advise from various forums and the suggested answer is always to delete and uninstall the app. Unless your situation is like me where you find your levels suddenly being wiped out, deleting and uninstalling the app is one of the only way.

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One of the best advise I read was from Quora where a person chose to answer anonymously for both the questions below. The person had reached a very high level and yet he said he has regrets as he had achieved nothing despite reaching the level.

It was the answer below that convinced me NOT to reinstate my Candy Crush levels:

Answer from Quora on the question How much time have I wasted after playing 821 candy crush levels? / Should I play Candy Crush?:

I am currently on 1370th level on Candy Crush Saga. This is presently the highest level in Candy Crush Saga(CCS) as on date 29-11-2015. I am not proud of this, instead I feel ashamed of this and posting this answer as anonymous. I started playing CCS since october 2014. For passing all these levels I have wasted 3-6 precious hours everyday and now I am feeling sorry about it. I have not been stuck on many levels but I remember one hard level on which I was stuck for 4 days. I have heard people saying that it took 10 days for them to pass some hard levels and there are many such levels.

I don’t want people to repeat my mistakes. If you are thinking to start playing this sick game or currently are trapped in it then following are your reasons for not playing this game:

Addictive: A good game in my view should be one which we play for fun, but it should be our will if we want to play it or not. But CCS is a pure evil addiction. I was/am a CCS addict. I kept on playing this game for 3-6 hours everyday, I have played it in office leisure hours. It feels like my mind is compelled to play CCS. If this is not addiction then what is. Mind it, this is not just my story but almost all active CCS player will tell the same.

Played on both Phone and Web: One big problematic game feature with CCS is that it can be played on phone/tablet App as well as on facebook games page. Both are synchronized. So if you lose your CCS lives on phone then there is an easy way to resume the game on facebook from your current level. But in the end we are the actual losers who lost all our productive hours.

Competition with friends: This game shows you which levels your friends are on. The game-ego drives us to play the game for countless hours so that we will surpass our nearest competitor. I have been a victim of this detrimental competitive attitude. Currently my closest CCS friend is on 827 and I am on 1370 level. Believe me it doesn’t give any sense of self appreciation. If you have this competitive attitude then channel it on productive routes e.g. learning more cool things, getting into better paying jobs etc.

Mental calm lost: On many days I was starting my morning with CCS on phone. It is no fun to wait of 2.5 hours for next 5 lives. On top of all the daily life stress do we really need extra frustration which we get after failing to crack a hard level for 3-4 days. For going into next 15 levels you have to take game tickets(virtual) from 3 CCS playing friends. This is pure devil logic of game design. For these tickets, players have to spam CCS request notifications on facebook. And then comes sarcastic posts/videos of CCS requests.

False fun game logic: Some people say that you can play CCS if you don’t have any productive things to do or while traveling. But this is a trap man, CCS addiction comes as a disguise. After playing this game for few times you start enjoying CCS and now you are on your way to become a CCS addict. Even if you don’t have any job to do, Do you really want all the frustration which you feel when you are stuck on a level for 3-5 days.

Greedy game/money wastage: Check Candy Crush Saga wiki page. CCS is minting huge money by fooling the addicts. I have completed all the levels but never paid a cent on this game. But there are people wasting their hard earned money for buying boosters to clear levels. If someone says he paid 100$ because he is addicted then I will say, “you are not addicted you are retarded, you idiot”. What kind of dumb retard pays for 5 extra lives! JUST WAIT FOR 30 MINUTES you will get a new life.

Search “candy crush addiction” on youtube. you will see the reality of how much addictive CCS is and how much time & money people have been wasting on CCS.

CCS has no ending level: Every week CCS developers are adding new 15 levels and hence game is always keep on increasing. As long as CCS is profitable they will add new levels every week. Hence in my opinion the game will never end. So I asked myself “are you willing to keep on playing this game forever? Are you?” Eventually at some point of time you will have to stop playing, so why not today? The lesser levels you have completed the easier it is to uninstall CCS. For me it feels super tough to think of losing all the glorious record of highest levels cracking ;). But I made my mind, I have already lost so much, now it’s enough, no more CCS for me.

Regrets: I have wasted thousand of priceless hours on this freaking game which I allocated for learning new languages, java certification study, interview preparation. I am very bright as can be verified by my academic track-records, but what did I do? I could have done some good study during all those 3-6 CCS daily wastage hours. Alas! I simply wasted so much time which I could have utilized for a better future.

In the end it hurts a lot when you realize “What have I actually achieved?” It is my most sincere advice to you that don’t play this game, uninstall it if you are playing it.

I remember reading the answer above that stopped me from reinstating my levels in Candy Crush. But when I wanted to find the answer again, it took a while for me to locate this hence I decided to include the answer above in this post.

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If you are addicted to Candy Crush, I sincerely hope you would be able to overcome this addiction.

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