Technology

How I Accidentally Broke My Doomscrolling Habit

As a reader of of this column know that there is no shame in a mobile game. Despite the fact that at some point in my not-so-distant past I was ashamed of my consumption of hackneyed mobile games, merge mansion captured my soul and changed my relationship with mobile gaming in the process and social media. tune in merge mansion allowed me to turn off doomscrolling.

Before we go any further, a moment of honesty: this wasn’t planned. I wasn’t trying to avoid social media when I clicked on this Instagram ad merge (clear). Instead, by investing in a mobile game instead of a console game, I was able to train my lizard brain to open up merge— instead of Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram — every time I reached for my phone. It turns out this is a lot easier than getting used to picking up a controller instead of a phone.

How did this happy coincidence come about? Like (I assume) many of you, over the past year or so my nights out have started to take a toxic form, always ending with me absentmindedly picking up my phone and just…scrolling. I wouldn’t even realize I was doing it until my 10pm alarm went off and reminded me to get ready for bed. I was the reason journalist Karen K. Ho started tweeting reminders to people asking them to put their devices down. It was unhealthy; I could never really relax and would wake up every morning feeling anything but rested.

Then I started playing merge mansion. The game works in such a way that you have to produce objects and then merge them. In order to craft items, you must consume energy, which will eventually run out. It only takes about 15 minutes to deplete your resources, so plenty of natural breakpoints are built in. Unlike Doomscrolling, which can take hours of your life before you know it, merge mansionThe energy mechanics of makes it easy to keep track of the time you spend in the game. It’s, simply put, a much more manageable pastime.

Social media usage isn’t nearly as manageable. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve tried hiding certain apps far from my home screen; I have screen time limits set. At one point I even tried removing them altogether, but as a person who relies on social media for work, that just wasn’t practical.

Mobile games became a loophole. Instead of deleting Twitter or TikTok, I just kept games on my homescreen. Now when I pull out my phone, they’re the first thing I see. And it’s not only merge mansion, either. I also play Family farm adventure. It’s not that I’ve convinced myself not to open the social media apps – it’s that I don’t want to more. I prefer playing games.

And you know what? I don’t care if I spend the whole evening playing games. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and it’s satisfying. I get a real sense of accomplishment when I upgrade a building or clear a well of dirt. And at the end I usually play 15 or 30 minutes and then find a book or turn on the TV.

It even shows in my mobile habits: before I started playing merge mansion, I spent about two hours a day on Twitter. Now it’s an hour a day for mobile gaming and just half an hour – sometimes even less – for the Toxic Bird app. Mobile gaming is really improving my quality of life and it hasn’t even taken any real work on my part.

While some people have been fortunate enough to replace doom scrolling with handheld games, that’s not the case for me. I love my Switch (and my new Steam deck – more on that in the coming weeks), but the key for me is that the games are on my phone. I don’t have to keep another device within reach to access the games. Since my Doomscrolling is an automatic bad habit, I had to make the solution automatic as well. That meant mobile for me.

If you’re not a big mobile gamer but are interested in getting started, try downloading some types of titles. I find merge and upgrade games the most successful. I don’t really like free-to-play games where you land to have Spending money to be successful (although I definitely bought some add-on packs merge mansion without guilt – it protects my sanity, ok?). It’s worth experimenting to see what works and looks good on a smaller screen (many iOS mobile games play better on an iPad).

Either way, if you’re looking to break that doomscrolling habit, it’s worth looking into. Speaking of digging, get ready to plant some flowers merge mansion.

https://www.wired.com/story/stop-doomscrolling-with-mobile-games/ How I Accidentally Broke My Doomscrolling Habit

Snopx

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