For real, guys, I was actually addicted to Pokémon GO last week.
The addiction started as soon as I downloaded the game; I actually went on an epic walk seconds after it installed on my phone (which actually took a while since I downloaded it the day it was released in Canada), found my first Poké Stop, caught my first (of millions) Drowzee, and I was hooked.
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What ensued in the week that followed was a whirlwind of obsession, distraction, and Pokémon candy.
What started out as something fun ended up taking over my whole life, and friends, if I didn't stop cold turkey, I probably would have walked all the way to Ontario at this point, never looking up from my phone, trying to hatch those 10 km eggs.
Let me start from the beginning, so you guys can get a full picture of just how deep the addiction went - and how awesome I felt once I purged the app straight off my phone.
The first day, like I said, was awesome. I was discovering the joys of Pokémon GO in Montreal for the very first time. Every catch was special. Rattata? Beautiful. Drowzee? Yes. Please. Pidgey? I couldn't get enough.
Then day two rolled around, and I advanced a couple of levels, leading me to a complete obsession with getting to level 5 so I could pick a team.
Guys, days and nights were spent dedicated to this goal. I live in a quiet area, so the Poké Stops and lures were far and few in between, but I was still grinding day and night to catch as many Pokémon as I could for the XP.
Once I got to level 5, things got pretty bad. Suddenly, I could battle at gyms and reclaim them for team Mystic. I had to get the best Pokémon, and I had to power up and evolve TF out of the ones that I already had.
And, guys, let's just say that the thought legit consumed me. On my way to and from work, I'd keep my phone open and scrutinize the app, straining my eyes for a hint of Pidgey, a Poké Stop, or a rare Pokémon. At work, I'd leave my app on and put my phone on my desk, so if a Pokémon popped up while I was working, I could catch it. After work, I'd go Pokéhunting... I'd wake up at 4 AM just to take a casual stroll and see what Pokémon I could find.
When I was with friends and family, I'd be glued to the app. When I wasn't on the app, I was thinking about it. I racked up data fees like nobody's business, and my battery never lasted more than a half a day.
Then, one day, my phone exploded. Well, not literally, but it stopped working, and it was a good day until I could go and get a new phone. So, for a day, I was plunged back into real life again. I heard the birds chirping. I people-watched. I made eye contact with my coworkers. I felt the heat of the sun on my face. It was a good day, guys.
So good, in fact, that when I got my new phone, I made the executive decision not to re-download Pokémon GO.
And, you know what, life's been pretty good since I did that. I have leisure time. My data's under control. And I don't feel the deeply nervous, anxious need to be glued to an app anymore.
I mean, sure, I miss it, and I just might go back one day... But for now, I'm happy without it. I swear.