The Secret Reason You Won't Be Able To Quit Farmville

It started out innocently enough. After a long day of classes, I thought that I deserved some downtime. And since my friends and family had been raving out this “Farmville” for weeks now, I thought I would join in and see what all the fuss was about. Little did I know that by clicking “Allow” on Farmville’s “Allow Access?” page, my life would take a sharp right turn into the depths of obsession.

I quickly grew my six beginner plots and 300 coins into a bustling farm fully equipped with chicken coop, dairy farm, a grove of multi-colored trees and a wild variety of playful animals. I had to check on my farm at least twice a day, to make sure my crops didn’t wither. My wall filled up with notices of lost animals, golden eggs, and a rainbow of ribbons and level achievements. I was getting a handful of bonuses from my friends every day, but after a huge level gain and then plateau, that simply wasn’t enough.

I began frequenting the unofficial Farmville groups and pages, like “FARMVILLE “ADD & INVITE” ADD NEIGHBORS EVERY DAY !”, posting my plea for more neighbors. As the friend requests poured in, my mind worked to translate each new person into bonuses for my farm: that level 35 farmer would surely find golden eggs to share with me; the crop-loving farmer will have plenty of plots for me to fertilize for experience and coins; the daily farmer will send me lots of new animals and trees as gifts. Before I knew it, I had added over 100 complete strangers to Facebook.

These people were all on a friends list that limited their access to my information, so it really wasn’t a big deal. It’s all part of the game. You add people, get their bonuses, and share yours with them. I look back now, and realize I was in denial.

After a few days of glorious golden egg bounties and an inbox full of gifts, I realized that my Facebook Requests were in the triple digits, and 9 out of 10 were from this horde of Farmville “Friends”. Slightly panicked about the “Ignore” click-work ahead of me, I looked to my news feeds to find out what my real friends were up to instead. But here, too, was a spammy mess of cute little animals looking for a home, Rare Black Mystery Eggs, and fertilizer requests. Suddenly everywhere I looked on my Facebook page was a barrage of Farmville bonuses just waiting to be scooped up – and that’s when I realized I had a problem.

It took me a few days to come to terms with the fact that I had to quit… I had to quit cold turkey. I had to just cut my ties with Farmville completely, or else any real connections I had on Facebook would be lost. I would especially miss the little pink cottage area that I built, complete with pink cherry trees and purple plumb trees lining the brightly colored garden, and a front yard full of black, white, tabby, and grey cats. Maybe this was my dream country home, but I remembered that I had two real cats waiting for me to feed them downstairs, and clicked the “X” beside the application. It was all gone.

Over the next few days, I would slowly go through my friends list and delete anyone I had recently added during my Farmville obsession days. I cleared out my requests, and soon my Facebook was back to basics. No more Farmville. I now knew why it gained in popularity so quickly to become the top App on Facebook. I had been through the fire, and came out stronger on the other side.

Three days ago, I added Farmville to my account again. They started a Valentine’s Day event! You get cute little bears and cards from your friends, and if you collect enough, you can trade them in for limited edition gifts. I tell myself I just want to see these gifts and then I’ll get rid of it again. But the best way to get more Valentines is to add more Farmville friends…