Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Farmville on Facebook

I don't know how it happened.  I have been on the Internet since Al Gore invented it.  I never got involved in online games.  I never got addicted to Free Cell or Solitaire.  All my life I felt that time was something you did not squander.  As I worked and raised my family, I felt every minute should be spent doing something constructive.  My only down-time was spent reading a good book which I justified by putting it under the heading of "learning." 

Then came Farmville.  When I left the workforce last November, I had a thousand things I wanted to accomplish with my new found freedom.  But, one day a friend asked me to be her neighbor on Farmville on Facebook.  She said I didn't have to play, just sign up to be her neighbor.  That wasn't asking too much.  So I did.  But it didn't stop there.  The minute I created my little farm, more and more people wanted to be my neighbor.  I was flattered.  What could it hurt?  So I planted a few crops, got a few chickens, a few cows, and the prized party pigs. Then I started wanting more and more of everything.  I felt exhilaration when I would level up.  Early on, someone told me that they had a friend who would set their alarm clock for 2:00 a.m. to harvest their crops to keep them from withering.  I thought that must be a crazy person! I will never be like that.  Now just for the record, I have never set my alarm clock for the middle of the night.  However, I admit to getting up early on occasion and spending time worrying through the night if my crops were withering. 

After a few months of farming, I came to realize that I was addicted.  I guess there are worse things to be addicted to, however, nothing that sucks up as much time as farming.  At first, I justified my addiction as a learning experience.  After all, I was learning all about crops I had never heard of; I was learning about the culture and foods of other countries; I was learning about  money management.  As farming sucked up more and more hours of my day, the one thing I was not learning about was time management.  In addition, if I was addicted to crack, I could keep that a secret.  With Farmville, it's posted on the Wall of all your friends in the world to see......"Marilyn hatched a Mystery Egg."  I get embarrassed just thinking of it. Now when I greet friends in person, they don't ask how I'm doing.  They say, "How's farming?"  Something just ain't right about that........

Just like any addict, I want to quit.  I want to regain my time.  I want to lead a normal life without worrying about digging holes, gathering eggs, my dogs running away, gathering enough bushels of wheat to make pumpkin bread, or searching for fuel.  Each time I decide to sell out and post a sign "Moved to Mexico", Zynga reads my mind and starts an all new challenge.   I am weak. 

And, just like with any addiction, I need to quit for my family.  George has no concept of what Farmville is and he doesn't understand my obsession.  (Neither do I).  But last night he finally said what I have been expecting........."You need to find a new hobby."  In other words, "you need to find something constructive to do instead of living in a land of make-believe."  I don't disagree.  I am a firm believer in making memories.  I don't think that in my end years, I will remember the day I got the "Crafty" Award, or the "MVP" crop award. 

Here is my first step of over-coming my addiction.  "Friends, Neighbors, and even strangers.  My name is Marilyn and I am a Farmville Addict!"


  1. I too am an addict! I appreciate your honesty and sense of humor in telling your story. There is a lesson to be learned here. But I am weak and just not ready to give up my addiction, so until then I will just keep on farming and hopefully one day I too can be strong like you.

  2. Debbie.....I said "I want to quit." I did not say I have quit. But I'm going to work on it. I guess I haven't hit rock bottom yet! Thanks for reading my blog.

  3. Well I am a free cell addict and I know it is the biggest time suck but I can go visit some one and not have to run see about my farm.
    Love you sis and I enjoyed your post look forward as to how you will get out of this pickle.