Crush or be crushed

I recently read a LinkedIn Influencer Post that told me Business is like Candy Crush. ‘Pah!’ I thought, that’s ridiculous.

LIFE is like Candy Crush!

It’s addictive.
All us addicts know that Candy Crush is like Bejewelled on crack. There are bright whirligig colours, maniacally cawing bad guys, and never-ending impending doom. There might as well be wallpaper trains. Worst of all, you’ve turned into a creepy apple-cheeked little girl with bouncing blonde pigtails and no apparent motivation in life. Yup, we’ve all been there. And just like [your addiction of choice], the more you have, the more you need to feel satisfied. The dopamine hits hard as you crack that impervious level but the others paused on the underground platform don’t understand why you just… need… MORE.

Some people buy their achievements.
Candy Crush has capitalised on this human foible by encouraging players to buy extra moves or lives in order to complete a level. I’ve seen people berate those who will spend $500 on a phone and then refuse to drop 69p on an app, but if I’ve just spent £500 on a phone I ain’t paying a damn cent more for extra lives – that ain’t the sorta karma I’m after. But do any of us really know what we’ll do when the chances run out and the need or greed kicks in? The closer you are to that high, the greater the risk of doing anything at all to get just that little bit more.

Some people use smarts to get ahead.
For those of us too frugal to buy our way through life/lives, there are still LifeHacks to get you ahead. Here’s a CandyHack from me – move the date in your phone’s settings ahead and watch your lives replenish! Just make sure you put it back afterwards or you’ll wake up late for work the next day. Yes, this has happened to me – and this was the first time I realised my addiction was interfering with my ‘real’ life. I told myself if wasn’t hypocritical – it doesn’t advance you through the game, it just gives you more time to put the effort in yourself. Just like learning keyboard shortcuts, finding a new way to get a duvet in its cover (bane of my life), or any of the sweet skills here, you’re not cheating, you’re just finding extra time to be awesome. Right? riiIGHT?

Some levels are more interesting than others.
I dunno about you, but I really hate the chocolate levels. Sometimes I’m even tempted to just sit and wait and watch as the brown obliterates the screen square by square and the hope of levelling up slips away sweetly. Maybe you contemplate giving up as you try dully over and over, but suddenly and unexpectedly one candy ball leads to another and you’re back in friendly liquorice land.

Sometimes you get stuck.
I’m currently stuck at Level 140. The question is, do I keep hacking away at this seemingly-impossible level, while the enjoyment drains through repetition? Or maybe I could go back to the earlier levels I sailed through with a half-arsed job and see if I can really put the effort in and do them properly – get those illustrious triple gold stars? Is this giving up, or the wise choice? Is this in fact the harder, smarter path? Maybe having a perfect score will help to get past that final barrier? Or were some of the other levels were more fun anyway?

You’ve been playing too much and living too little.
Maybe you started playing as a coping mechanism – a way to ignore the crush of people all about you, on you, as the crowd squeezes you out like the chocolate unlevelling you. But maybe now the friendly candy colours are taking on a gleam of grinned victory, not FOR you, but against you. How typical that entertainment turns addiction, escapist hatch turns life-leeching trap.

Don’t let the chocolate take over. Don’t take the liquorice for an easy win. Let the bombs explode. Let the stones lie, or crack them, as you will. Why do you even need to clear that jelly?

Win or lose, just play the game. No, not the app. Clearly you’re in as deep as me. Let’s take a deep breath and delete shall we?

Crush it.



Update: haha, just kidding. I’ve totally got this under control. I can quit any time. I just don’t WANT to. What else am I gonna do on the Tube? Don’t worry I’m fiiiiiiine!

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