Flapping away for a while

Seamus Dowdall , Writer

Everyone has been talking about it: the frustrating, maddening, yet highly addictive game known as Flappy Bird. Over the course of the past two months, the game has gone through a roller coaster of events, from its rise to international fame, to its drop back into untapped elusiveness. Students all over campus could be seen flapping while walking, while hanging out with friends, and even during class lectures. As of Feb. 8, the game has been removed from all application stores by creator Dong Nguyen. His decision to remove the game—for reasons seemingly personal and ethical—has left fans both heartbroken and forever relieved of its addictive tendencies.

While we may mourn the loss of a game destined to be a classic, I believe that the creator has done us all a favor. As technology continues to evolve itself and our society, we find ourselves constantly immersed in our phones and laptops. As gadgets continue to play a bigger role in facilitating our lives, we develop unhealthy habits of dependency and addiction. Think of it this way: imagine the typical scenario in which you would play Flappy Bird. Maybe you’re in a long line for food or sitting at your desk for those few minutes before the start of class. The short time span of the game would allow for one to fill those in-between moments of life we often experience. Some of us may not see this as problematic, but take a moment to think of what you would do without the interference of precious technology. Maybe you would socialize with a fellow classmate and exchange some intellectual insights. Maybe you would just relax, revel in the undisturbed silence, and enjoy the pleasure of simply doing nothing. Or maybe, just maybe, you would take the time to introspectively ponder upon life and its vast complexities to discover something new about yourself.

Whatever you decide to use your time for is up to you. The point of my argument is that technology doesn’t have to be in every facet of our lives. Flappy Bird, although entertaining at times, had the potential to consume a considerable amount of our valuable time. If there is a statistic out there that measures the percentage of our lives spent on phone usage, I’m sure it’s a highly alarming and disconcerting number. I’m pulling a William Powers on life (sorry, first-years) and spending less time on my phone now that Flappy Bird is gone for good. The disappearance of Flappy Bird comes to me as a sign that technology isn’t everything after all, and I hope that this mentality will resonate with me for a while. Now I’m just praying that Nguyen won’t change his mind, otherwise I might find myself trying to top my high score of 17 indefinitely.

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