The Hater: I’m addicted to SimCity Social

The Internet may be making us “not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious," according to Newsweek, but at least we can build our own utopia online. 

Mar 3, 2020, 4:37 am*

Internet Culture


Jordan Valinsky

We love the Internet. Except when we hate it. Every week, Jordan Valinsky bottles the angst of his Millennial generation and finds something to despise about the Web.

Newsweek alarmed—but mostly annoyed—a lot of people off this week with a fear-mongering article about how the Internet is making us “mad.”

Tony Dokoupil wrote that the Internet is making us “not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic.” That also, incidentally, sounds a lot like me anytime I go to a party where I don’t know anyone while drunk on box wine.

I couldn’t be bothered to read the rest since it’s A) over 140 characters, B) it’s not in a slideshow format, and C) haven’t we talked about this before? I did, however, skim the article on a mini fact-finding mission.

We all learned that just by spending more than 38 hours online a week, it means you’re addicted to the Internet. So unless you’re working in a farm or a brothel, that undeniable craving for the Internet is something you can’t fix since you’re shackled to a desk.

Also, users who constantly “use” the Internet (but really just visiting Facebook), have the front part of their brains rewired to mirror a brain of “drug and alcohol addicts.” Chinese scientists discovered that part of the brain responsible for creating speech and memory shrunk 10 to 20 percent from such behavior. But do we know with certainty that the Chinese aren’t just trolling us with these ever important so-called “findings?”

That said, the article made me realize that I am, in fact, addicted to the Internet. But not the whole Internet. No, not Facebook (my friends are the worst), or Twitter (Mashable’s feed has ruined that), but I’m addicted to a useless Facebook application: SimCity Social.

So it’s technically Facebook, but when you’re playing it, it feels like a place (OR A CITY) of its own. I started playing it last Friday and I can’t stop. I am on Level 17, my population is at healthy 6,000, and is the website I aspire to be managing editor of. There’s something about the colorful utopia that I can not not stop thinking about.

Maybe it’s the constant yearning of completing tasks to get more energy bolts, thus being able build more houses and increase population and, in doing so, unlock the next level and new attractions.

Perhaps it’s the constant praise the game lauds on you for doing something so dumb and pointless, like planting a tree in a high-populated area. The the real world just doesn’t offer that,  unless you send a tree to Israel. (Then you get a fancy certificate back in return.)

And my friends are redeeming themselves there. You find an inner-circle of people that you can trust and rely on—not for moral support, but for land permits, teamwork badges, and Dunkin’ Donut energy bonuses: Jordanville runs on Dunkin’.

The best part is the lack of judgement I get from Calla, Jamie, Dylan and others when I chat with them at midnight, begging for an extra energy because I just need to bulldoze one more tree before I go to bed. The lack of judgement is because they’re equally addicted, too.

So maybe I am getting dumber from playing a stupid game, and I am certainly getting more obsessive-compulsive since I am trying to figure out where to place a city plaza for a maximum population increase. And I’m already “outright psychotic” if you want to judge my Twitter when I drunk-tweet. Sorry, bosses.

At the end of day, maybe we’re all getting dumber, lonelier, more depressed, and anxious, but at least we’re all doing it together. That has to be worth something.

I hope there is no cure for Internet addiction because it’s a fantastic feeling—and I really need my city to prosper.

Photo via Facebook


Share this article
*First Published: Jul 11, 2012, 5:47 pm