Wednesday, April 2, 2014

5 Flappy Bird Life Lessons

They say, "timeliness is a key component of successful editorialization," but I never liked playing by their rules anyways, whoever “their” is referring to…I just assume the ambiguous “man,” but I digress. This morning I was mindlessly killing time, in the pursuit of something to write about, when I realized that I could just forgo the traditional routes of brainstorming and write about what I was mindlessly wasting my time doing, namely Flappy Bird. It dawned on me that Flappy Bird is a great metaphor for life, and with that comes a handful of great life lessons.

What would be the use of this realization if I didn’t turn to the trusty Internet to expound upon these ideas and share them with the world? Useless, I say, useless! So in pursuit of fulfilling my duty to the Internet community and thereby the world at large I present you with my, not-at-all thrown together list of “Flappy Bird Life Lessons…”

5. Never Give Up
I’m not entirely sure how my phone survived the first couple weeks of me playing Flappy Bird. It seemed like I was playing the game simply to eat away at any self confidence I had wandering around in my soul. I would fail, over and over and over, sometimes failing to even get through the first pipe, constantly questioning my value as a member of society. 

“How can one be so bad at something so simple,” I thought, whilst flogging myself. 
"2! I got 2! Mom are you proud of me yet!"
Failure after failure, I never stopped, not out of some heroic desire to succeed, but out of pure addiction. The results, however, were the same, as I steadily improved, consistently getting higher and higher scores, slowly climbing my way from one medal to another. Progress steadily increased but I started to realize something amazing…

4. Take a Break
If I was forced to step away from Flappy Bird, which usually involved a lot of complaining and an excessive amount of cussing are my distractor, I would return and my first run would be significantly better than the level I was performing at before being dragged away from my beautiful, wonderful vice. 
I return from a break to set a new personal best!
After my return, my runs would improve for awhile before dropping off, slowly driving me into a phone throwing rage that ate away at the few friendships I manage to continue during this questionable time in my life. My life became Flappy Bird, it was all I cared about, and I took it seriously…

3. Setting Goals
If I was forced to take a hiatus from the game I would set a new goal for myself for the next time I return, usually a trip to a bathroom stall to get my fix. Short term goals were increments of five, longer term goal were new medals. Once I made my way through all the available medals, my goals became loftier.
Wait, there's a rainbow medal now? You can't do this to me!
I was building a tolerance to it’s addictive element, no longer accepting mediocrity, striving, constantly, for more and more, never willing to accept a score lower than my high. Being taunted after each failure by the haunting reminded of how much better I could do…I should do…

2. Mistakes Happen
Even after I got decent at Flappy Bird, and to this day, I still have runs that end in single digits. A stark reminder that mistakes happen, and that throwing my phone across the room will not only end my attempts at Flappy Bird, but also set me back a pretty penny in the real world. You can’t buy phones with Flappy Bird medals, I learned. 
You won't be your best score every time, in fact you won't be it most times. They should my wristlets for cell phones, like the wii-motes have. 
You must contain your irrational anger and persevere, and battle through, never stopping to worry about where others are on the trail, because they aren’t burden with the same obstacles as you and you can’t…

1. Measuring Success
Measure your success with the yardstick of those around you. In the darkest days of my addiction if I wasn’t coursing my birdie through a series of Super Mario pipes I was reading twitter trends about it, comparing my score to that of more successful Flappers and celebrating when my high was higher than theirs. Hours were spent comparing myself to others, wasting away as I realized the mediocrity of my performance, returning to the game with anger in my eyes, hating that little bird who seemed to gravitate towards the green pipes as if wishing to end his miserable flapping existence.
Do you realize how long you would have to sit and play to get this score. Wouldn't it suck if your phone died!
I have since entered rehab and I can now control my Flappy Bird habit, returning only from time to time to get a pleasant high, strong enough to turn the game off after a couple rounds. The hours of my life wasted, the friends lost, the relationships tarnished by my obsession will always be reminders of the dark side of the technicolor bird, a dangerous vice. But I can’t go back and I am thankful I could find the light again and come out of this experience a better, more well adjusted person. I hope this helps those out there suffering to find hope and pull through as I did. 

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