Gaming and social media

Now that I’m off social media I’m wondering if it’s a good idea to replace it with gaming.

Basically I need a fix. I have this need to be distracted/”accelerated” all the time. And I need something that I can go to, get distracted for a little bit and then come back to work.

Sometimes a text message conversation in the middle of work does the trick, but not all conversations are good for this (some people are just too quick in replying and end up stressing me). Also there’s the issue of finding someone to talk to when you need to.

Over the last decade or so I’ve turned to social media. Twitter with its stream of tweets provides good stimulation. The problem with that is that it results in a lot of mental bandwidth going wasted due to massive context switching that happens. Yes it provides distraction but is also tiring.

So I’m wondering if I should try out gaming. I know it is addictive, which is both good and bad (addictions are good when you are trying to take your mind off something). And gaming sure provides the “kick” though I’m not sure if it will be as taxing on the mind as social media. The key, however, is to find a game that can be played in short bursts whenever I need that “kick”.

What do you think? Is there a game that I can use for my distractions, or do you think starting gaming might unleash a different beast that might be hard to tame?

2 thoughts on “Gaming and social media”

  1. I think it depends on what kind of a fix you are looking for. Do you have a preference between mobile and PC?

    I don’t play mobile games, but on the PC you can generally find a short-bursts game to scratch most itches.

    If you want it to engage the planning/logic part of your brain, you can check out Factorio or Opus Magnum.

    If you want something just a (big) step up from minesweeper, you can try Hexcells.

    If you want more of a rush, you can try an online competitive game like counter strike or rainbow six: siege.

  2. Since game developers have the same incentives to keep your attention as social media developers, games will have the same addictive potential as social media. The challenge with gaming will be that you get into it for a short burst, but the addictive properties keep you occupied for hours.

    My suggestion is physical puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles, meccano or Lego sets, or model aircraft kits. With jigsaw or construction puzzles particularly, the advantage is that you can rebuild if you’re inclined, and you can also get one with the difficulty that matches the amount of time you want to disconnect for. There’s the added advantage that it’s something you can do with your daughter. And the third advantage that you can send photos of the beginning, in process, and finished product to friends and family and receive their admiration.

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