The Dude on the Right
For the life of me I was having a hard time figuring out why I didn’t have time to exercise in the morning. There I was, waking up around 4:30 (and sure, hitting the snooze pushed things closer to 5AM), but by the time I was trying to get out the door at 7:00 to head to morning meetings, well, I was rushing. What in the hell was I doing for nearly 2 1/2 hours, and why in the hell wasn’t part of it being spent on my exercise bike? Something was going on, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, and then it occurred to me, even as I thought I was trimming things down:
Facebook, and more specifically Facebook applications, have destroyed my morning productivity.
I thought I had it licked when I was going to switch from Mafia Wars to Café World but it was yesterday, when I started trying to analyze my morning schedule, and as I sat there "training" my virtual fish in my Happy Aquarium, checking on my café, and still trying to take over the Moscow Mafia, that a bell went off over my head, sort of, and it simply rang out "What are you doing?" So this morning, being the dorky engineer I can be, I started my morning as I normally have been, up and at ’em at 4:45, into the kitchen to empty the dishwasher, making my Count Chocula with chocolate milk, and heading to my computer bunker that isn’t really a bunker anymore, to see what was happening in the world. I fired up Firefox on the main monitor, opening a list of tabs to places like the Chicago Sun Times, The Drudge Report, The Weather Channel, Google Reader, and The Lorain Journal, just getting myself ready to rediscover the world after a night of broken sleep (broken sleep and the urge to drop-kick a dog out the window will be a topic for another blog), and on my secondary monitor, another Firefox window was opened, this time to my Facebook page. I scanned the world, not really paying as much attention to things as I used to (something my fiance made me realize the other day), and quickly shifted my focus to my Facebook world, or should I say worlds, because after not coming up with anything witty for my status and seeing that my friends haven’t done much in the past six hours, I pulled out the stopwatch on my iPhone to do a statistical analysis of part of my morning.
And so, I headed to…
- "Café World" – I didn’t do anything crazy, and by crazy I mean I didn’t send any of my neighbors any gifts, visit any of their cafés, nor do any redecorating (which I could, because I have 200,000 café coins to spend), instead I’m concentrating on serving my pot roast and then cooking up some voodoo chicken salad.
CAFE TIME ELAPSED: 4-ISH MINUTES
That wasn’t so bad, but other work needed to be done so I’m off to my:
- "Happy Aquarium" – Here I start by sending the gift of fish food to my aquarium neighbors. Damn, I’m a good neighbor! Of course my fish tank has gotten dirty overnight so I scrub it clean, and then my fish are hungry so it’s time for their morning feeding, but as I’m also trying to make my fish smarter, what the heck, let’s train a couple of them! Sadly I can’t get one fish (I’m not sure which one it was, mostly because I have eleven different fish, all with different names) through the training program, but another made it safely through, so he, or maybe she, can now do some kind of special trick. Not done yet, I’m feeling helpful and greedy so I visit my seven neighbors’ tanks, do some cleaning at each of them, and click on the various treasure chests to get myself some more coin!
AQUARIUM TIME ELAPSED: 8-ISH MINUTES
But my coup de gras awaits, the game that has taken what must amount to months in lost productivity – I’m off to Moscow in:
- "Mafia Wars" – Yup, I head to New York City to bank some money from my properties, and I now have over $110,000,000,000 in fake, United States currency. But I’ve built my mafia over the months, and Cuba needs me, or at least my businesses in Cuba need me, so it’s time to sell off a bunch of product and bank my money there as I eclipse the C$11,000,000 Cuban peso mark! But as my Mafia domination is growing, well, I’m off to Moscow. I easily level up to 351 with the energy I’ve acquired while I slept, so I’m eager to spend my new, 2,190 units of energy doing something, although I’m not really sure what, even though there is some sort of story going on, but there I am, clicking my mouse insistently to earn more cash, finish the job, and move on, but my energy level is now too low to continue! Oh no! Ahh, but no, I’m not done! Thankfully my sister sent me an energy pack so I recharge, it’s time for another energy drain, I’m up another level, and I quickly scan that I’m going to need about R$40,000,000 rubles to get the items necessary so I can work on the next job in Episode 4. Not being able to continue with any jobs for now, and since I got an energy pack from my sister, I decided I should return the favor so I click on my giant mafia of 34 members and send energy packs to those people that I know are still playing the game.
MAFIA TIME ELAPSED: 12 MINUTES
With the breakfast hours slipping away I’m done with my café, my fish tank is clean, I’ve blackmailed a secretary in Moscow, but I notice, in the upper right corner of my Facebook main page, that I’ve got gifts to receive. I click and there they are, lots of little goodies from my friends, so what the hell, it’s a click here and new screen there, an "Accept more gifts" click here, another screen there, and REQUEST/GIFT TIME ELAPSED: 4 MINUTES.
I looked at my stopwatch realizing that this morning, in just "maintaining" and "advancing" in three Facebook games, I wasted nearly 30 minutes.
Now, mind you, I didn’t do any bowling with my buddies, happily I stopped playing Pirates of the Caribbean although I haven’t deleted the app yet, in Farm Town I have set up my farm with a lovely message for my BFF, a message that as long as my farming neighbors "water" it looks great so I don’t have to do anything, my Roller Coaster Kingdom is stalled, and I haven’t tried to increase my word vocabulary, but just heading to one of those would have meant being late for my first appointment this morning.
I wondered where my time went in the morning, and now I found out. The question now is what to do about it because people are hungry and my Voodoo Chicken Salad is almost ready to be served, my "fish" are hungry and I really would feel bad if I "flushed" them down the toilet, and after investing so much time, "money," and building a reputation as a mafia kingpin, well, I really hate to rat people out and go into witness protection. Then there is the feeling that I’m going to let all of my "neighbors" down if I can’t be, well, their neighbor. In the end, I guess my exercising might just have to wait, although if someone were to make an "Exercise World" for Facebook, maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad.
That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!