We all know smartphones are addictive. These days, it’s hard to hold a conversation with certain people without them dipping their head into their iPhone, resulting in monosyllabic, one-way conversations full of repetition and frustration. This is before you factor in the gaming side of things. Some smartphone games are so furiously addictive, you can lose days at a time to them. On some occasions, even when we know the game in question isn’t that good, we can still play them obsessively over and over again, simply because they have the special factor that keeps us going back for more.
But is this self-inversion dangerous to our social relations? Are we losing our real life friends for the virtual ones we make online? While we’re not diving headfirst into the Matrix just yet, it never hurts to be sensible and take stock of the balance between real life and the smartphone. There are a few changes you can implement to make sure you retain your trusted flesh and blood friends, and to make sure you don’t disappear all the way down the proverbial rabbit hole.
The first is to make sure you play when you’re alone. It sounds simple, but it works every time. If you’re with somebody to hang out and talk to them, make sure you engage them! There’s plenty of time when you’re alone to play, and you don’t have to be fully alone, just mentally alone – the bus to work is fine too! Another trick is to play more socially-directed games; for example, you could try more of mobile bingo, a famously sociable game, or one of the blazingly popular MMORPGs that bring together millions of players.
Gaming isn’t going away any time soon, and it’s fair to say at this point that if you’re a hardcore gamer today you’ll be a gamer for life. The technology will keep progressing, and the games will keep coming in different iterations. You can make new friends by playing these games, and also introduce your old ones to them; let’s face it, everyone has a smartphone, so the surefire way of maintaining the balance between your smartphone and your friends is to play games that bring you together!