Do you have an anxiety attack when you walk down the supermarket candy aisle? Do you find yourself yelling “I f*&king hate chocolate and jelly!” to an empty room on the reg? Have you begged a stranger on public transportation to send you a life? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you have a Candy Crush Addiction. I get it, I used to have an addiction to Crushin’. It wasn’t as bad as some of my other friends, who failed grad classes because they played it during lecture, but let’s just say, if you took me to dinner we wouldn’t actually be talking during the meal unless I needed to get to the next level (and not in the good way). When you explain Candy Crush to a non-crusher, you sound like an idiot, “You like move and match candies to kill all the chocolate and squish all the jelly and stuff. It’s totally addicting.” Alas, that last part is painfully true. Candy Crush is played more than 600 million times a day and is reportedly bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars to King, the creator of Candy Crush Saga. The game appears simple, but it’s evil and created to keep you playing against your – and all of your friends’ – better judgment. Last weekend, I headed to the beach to decompress after a busy week of iPhone  season planning. When I arrived at 4 PM on the nicest day of the year (we have summer Fridays at Gazelle, be jealous… or just come work for us), my ENTIRE extended family and a large collection of our neighbors were INSIDE staring at their screens and not speaking to each other, except to occasionally request a life. Seriously? It was at this point that I realized I needed to stage an intervention, and walked them through these 6 steps I also [painfully] had to take to treat a Candy Crush Addiction earlier this year: Recognize and admit the problem Do you regularly visit the bathroom at work just to play Candy Crush? Have you paid for a life or a power-up? Woken up in the middle of the night when you get your lives back? Does the date on your phone now read “December 3, 2020″ because you found the extra life hack? These are all signs of an addiction, and you have to bring yourself to admit it. I recommend telling yourself in the mirror. Take inventory of the damage This can be a painfully embarrassing step. First, check to see how many friends have unfriended you on Facebook because you sent them 100 requests each day to give you new lives or to unlock the next level. You’ll want to apologize to them. Then, you’ll have the check your iTunes account balance – because after you lost all those friends, you started to pay for your lives. Don’t freak out. Substitute cold turkey for candy Don’t actually; because Tryptophan comas are way less fun than sugar highs, but the best way to quit the game IS to delete it from all of your devices. At the very least, uninstall it from your iPad. If you can’t bring yourself to do either, disconnect it from Facebook… and your iPod touch. Ask for help Let your friends know you’re in Candy Crush Addiction treatment, and ask that they don’t send you any more requests. You can also update your privacy settings on Facebook to ignore all requests from the app. Leave your phone in the purse, and STOP bringing it to the bathroom. It’s gross. Get a life – no, a real life Grab some friends, head out to a local bar, learn how to talk to the opposite sex again, and then try [and probably fail] to get some. Then, throw yourself back into your job. Rinse, and repeat. DO NOT REINSTALL. For reference, this is never a good pickup line: “Are you from Candy Crush Saga? Cuz you’re real sweet.” Help other crushers Ignore your friends’ requests for lives and passes and remind them there is life outside of level 92. If they’re still dragging, buy them a beer with all the money you’re saving not buying lives, or set them up on a date with the girl who told you you’d “just be friends” last weekend. Do you think you have a Candy Crush addiction? Tell us what you’ve done to quit in the comments!


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