About James Good

Welcome to our step-by-step guide on how to delete your Facebook account. Continue reading or find a table of contents to your right:

2.4 billion. That’s how many people log on to Facebook every single month.

Facebook has cemented itself as the biggest social media platform, and possibly the most popular website, that has ever existed.

They churn through 4 million gigabytes of data every day and have a comprehensive record of every user on the site.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing if they were using this data without any issues. But I’m sure you know that’s not the case.

Facebook controls what you see, what you buy, what you feel, and what you enjoy.

There’s a lot of money in data, and Facebook is doing their utmost to profit as much as possible.

It’s no wonder, then, that more and more people (including you) are wondering how to delete your Facebook account.

Fortunately, we’ve made this article as simple as possible for you to follow, including details further down on the differences between deleting and deactivating.

Before you know it you’ll be free of Zuckerberg’s shackles, and can start living a life where you’re in charge.

Let’s get started.

How to Delete Your Facebook Account

This might be the simplest guide I’ve ever written.

Facebook has made it surprisingly easy to delete your account – as you’d usually expect to be jumping through hoops to get there.

Step 1

Follow this link to get to the account deletion page. From there click on “delete account” at the bottom.

how to delete facebook step 1

If you want, you can download all of the information Facebook holds about you just for safekeeping. Be warned, it can be an extremely large download and might take a long time if you have slow internet.

Step 2

Simply verify your account by entering your password, and then click continue.

how to delete your facebook step 2

I told you this was simple.

Step 3

Finally, there’s one final confirmation box where you just have to press delete account and that’s it.

how to delete your facebook step 3

All Done!

Once you take that final step towards freedom you’ll get a popup telling you it’ll be deleted in 30 days, and that’s all there is to it.

how to delete your facebook step 4

You can now spend the rest of the month doing something productive. Like scrolling endlessly through Instagram…

Why Should You Delete Facebook

Now, you might be reading this and thinking that you don’t have a problem with Facebook, so why should you bother deleting your account?

There are a few reasons that I want to go through that might give you a different perspective on your Facebook account.

You don’t even have to delete it, just try and stay away from it for a couple of weeks and see how things in your life change.

You might be surprised.

Reason #1: You’re Spending Too Much Time on Facebook

Even if you don’t think it’s the case, you’re probably spending more time on the platform than you realise.

A few minutes can quickly turn into an hour as you’re recommended more videos and memes to keep you hooked. All of a sudden you’ve spent your entire morning or evening on your phone.

Are you the kind of person that wakes up and immediately checks your Facebook account?

Imagine how different your morning would be if you decided to spend that time exercising, meditating or doing yoga.

How many times do you find yourself rushing to get ready for work just because you’ve been on your phone?

Think about how much more pleasant your day at work would be if you got started on the right foot.

black and white cellphone

Reason #2: Facebook Has Total Control Over You

You might not know it but Facebook is controlling everything you’re seeing.

They control which news stories you see and which adverts you’re exposed to. They wrap you in this viewpoint of the world that is much different than it is in reality.

If you spend just a couple of hours every day scrolling Facebook, you’re much less likely to see the world in a positive light.

The world is dying, politicians are corrupt, people are evil and we’re all going to hell.

Sure, some of those might be true.

But if you’re exposing yourself to it every minute of the day it’s going to completely shift your mindset.

You’re not going to see any of the good that exists in the world – and there’s a lot of good to see.

No one wants to be a negative person. But, when you and your friends are all seeing and feeling the same things, it can’t be avoided.

You have to think about what kind of person you want to be.

Is spending hours on Facebook every day is conducive to that goal?

Reason #3: They Know More About You Than You Do

Facebook seems to have an obsession with collecting, and selling, as much data as physically possible.

They know what you like and dislike, what makes you happy and what you fear, they know where you go and what you buy, and most of all – they know how to manipulate you.

With all of this information, they can manipulate into buying what they want and thinking what they want.

You’re subconsciously being controlled by Facebook, and it’s not going to stop any time soon.

Data is a massive business all around the world, and the more time you spend on the site the more they’re going to collect.

It even has its own name, “Privacy Zuckering”. It’s just one of many dark patterns that exist on the internet designed to manipulate you into giving away your data.

Don’t know what dark patterns are? Check out our extensive article about every type of dark pattern you’ll find online.

You might not give a damn what they do with the data, but we have no idea where the industry is going to go in the future.

It could end up having some dangerous repercussions.

Reason #4: It’s Stopping You From Achieving Your Dreams

daylight adventure

It sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but hear me out.

Just take a minute to think about whether your current situation is how you want to be living 5 years from now.

Sure, Facebook might not be solely responsible for you being unproductive, or not achieving your goals.

But, what it is responsible for is a lack of control in your life.

You’re owned by your device.

You might think you’re different but, in reality, we’re all human.

We’re weak, and we’re easily manipulated.

Facebook is the complete opposite.

They want you to spend as much time as possible on that app, and they want you to be as unproductive as possible.

Once you realise that you’re in control, and you make that choice to take back the reigns on your life, you’ll realise that you get to control everything about your future.

Whether your goal is to become wealthy and happy and peaceful, you can do all of that.

However, you’ll never be able to accomplish anything if you’re being led by someone else.

You have to take charge, and that can only begin when you decide to take that first step.

That first step towards creating a better you and towards living the life you want.

As always, thanks for reading.

Hopefully, I’ve managed to convince at least one of you to change your perspective about Facebook. If you have committed to taking some time off, let us know by commenting on the YouTube video above.

At the very least you now know how to delete your Facebook account, so that’s something. Right?

Dark Patterns: a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.

You’ve probably encountered loads of types of dark patterns during your time on the internet, you just didn’t realise it.

Most likely because they’re designed to be deceptive, and quietly manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do.

There are plenty of ways that companies do this, 12 to be exact, and none of them has your best interests at heart.

It could be as simple as signing up to an e-mail list.

Or, you could sign away personal data that gets used against you when you try to purchase insurance in the future.

It doesn’t sound fair, does it?

I’m sure you agree that design should be transparent and user-friendly.

Unfortunately, companies trying to make a quick buck off you don’t care about any of that.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of 12 types of dark patterns so that you’re able to recognise them online.

Types of Dark Patterns:

Bait and Switch

This is where you set out to do one thing, but a different, undesirable thing happens instead.

You might remember back in 2016 when Microsoft tried to get everyone to upgrade to Windows 10.

Eventually, through incessant pop-ups, most people began to accept it.

As time went on, Microsoft eventually resorted to a tactic that had many users up in arms.

Since the 80s, the little X in the top-right corner was used to close the window.

However, they decided to replace the X to instead mean:

“yes, I want to upgrade my computer to Windows 10”.

It sounds too ridiculous to be true, doesn’t it?

Eventually, Microsoft changed it back to normal -but not until an angry crowd of pitchfork-wielding users threw them under the bus!

Confirm shaming

Confirm shaming guilts the user into opting into something by shaming them if they decline.

The most common example of this is when sites get you to sign up to their mailing list.

For example, here’s one on a financial website offering investment reports in exchange for your email address.

investment types of dark patterns

The sign-up gives you two options. “Yes! Count me In!” or “No I love being poor.”

Once you start noticing this dark pattern it turns up all over the place.

Whether you’re on Amazon, the high street, or using an ATM – you’re going to encounter this type of dark pattern everywhere.

Oh, and also, it’s probably partly to blame for you having 58,394 unread e-mails in your inbox!

Disguised Ads

This is where adverts are disguised as other kinds of content or navigation, in order to get you to click on them.

I know I’ve said it a lot, but this one really is everywhere. Noticing a (dark) pattern emerging?

It’s 2019, you’ve probably watched enough films online that you’d feel at home on Blackbeard’s ship.

How many times have you seen a big flashing button that says “DOWNLOAD IN HD”, right next to another 3 links saying the exact same thing?

One link takes you to a survey page, another to a pop-up ridden website, and the link to actually download it is probably a small line of writing so small it could fit inside a comma.

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea.

Forced Continuity

You know when your free trial comes to an end and your account starts getting charged without any warning?

That’s forced continuity.

“If I had a dollar for every free trial I’ve let renew after the first month, I’d probably be bankrupt due to all of the subscriptions I forgot to cancel” – Confucius, probably

These companies not only aren’t reminding you that your trial is ending but trying to cancel it is usually extremely complicated.

This dark pattern is used commonly with disguised ads.

They promise you money off your order if you click this link and in return, you’re suddenly enrolled on a $30/m subscription to a service you’ve never heard of.

How nice of them!

Friend Spam

Some products ask for your email, or social media permissions, promising some kind of benefit.

It’ll then spam all of your contacts in a message claiming to be from you.

The dangerous part of this is that there’s no way of knowing what they’re going to send to people – it could end up being quite dangerous.

It isn’t as common with major websites anymore but is used frequently by app creators to get more downloads.

A lot of people, myself included, quickly skip through the permissions pages when downloading a game.

These permissions are abused, and the game or app will post on your social media and message friends without asking you first.

A popular example of this, which resulted in a multi-million dollar lawsuit, was LinkedIn back in 2015.

They encouraged you to give them access to your e-mail account when signing up.

This was on the premise that you could build up a strong network for your career. Something that sounds super enticing to a new user trying to build relationships.

It sounds harmless, right?

But, in actuality, those who went along with it inadvertently gave LinkedIn permission to spam every single person you’ve ever e-mailed.

Ever.

Unsurprisingly, this turned out to be illegal and ended with the company having to pay out over $13 million in claims to those affected.

Hidden Costs

You get to the last step of the checkout process, only to discover some unexpected charges have appeared.

This is a personal pet peeve of mine.

I just want to buy a music ticket, Ticketmaster, why is there an extortionate booking fee? Also, what’s the deal with a service charge for ordering things online? It just doesn’t make any sense.

Check out this example from ProFlowers, a flower retailer based in the US, demonstrating dark patterns perfectly.

proflowers types of dark patterns

When you go to purchase some flowers, everything seems to be in order.

All you need to do is head through the checkout process and you’ll be blessed with some beautiful flowers in no time at all. Right?

Er, no.

Once you make it to the final screen – after a very lengthy process – you’re suddenly greeted by extra costs that weren’t advertised at all.

proflowers types of dark patterns

Now you have to pay almost 50% more for delivery, as well as a care and handling fee. What in the world is a care and handling fee, anyway?

Misdirection

Misdirection, as the name suggests, is where a design purposefully focuses your attention on one thing in order to distract you from another.

Way back when I was less internet savvy, the number of extra programs I installed by blindly clicking through installations was ridiculous.

I recently tried to install BitTorrent.

Along the way, I had to expertly navigate my way through a maze of menus and checkboxes to stop any third-party programs getting installed.

They warned me that my download speeds would be painfully slow if I declined to install the Opera browser.

If you’ve ever wondered where that random extension on your browser came from, you probably clicked too fast to get something installed.

Another popular approach is to trick you into paying extra for a service, that you really don’t need to pay for.

This is incredibly popular with airlines. They set up their site in a way that makes it seem like you have to pay money to book a seat.

In actuality, if you just skip the process they’ll still give you a seat on the plane for free.

They try really hard to not make this obvious.

Price Comparison Prevention

The retailer makes it hard for you to compare the price of an item with another item, so you cannot make an informed decision.

Does a website really need this many subscriptions?

price comparison prevention types of dark patterns

As it turns out, free users are able to search for jobs on the website. But, if you want to apply you’re going to have to choose a subscription option.

All of a sudden it doesn’t seem like they’re as passionate about your career as they make out to be.

Also, check out this example from the popular supermarket Sainsbury’s.

They change the way that prices are displayed, whether it’s by weight or by volume. Making it incredibly hard for you to decide which option is the best value.

sainsbury's types of dark patterns

Privacy Zuckering

You are tricked into publicly sharing more information about yourself than you really intended to.

Named after none other than the king of data himself, Mark Zuckerberg, this dark pattern is used in nearly every corner of the internet.

Usually disguised within the small print of the Terms and Conditions, it gives the company the right to sell your personal data to third-party companies.

It’s not just personal information such as your age or your e-mail, it couldn’t contain details of your sexual preferences, and even your mental and physical health.

This could eventually lead to you being refused insurance or loans in the future.

It’s all very legal, and very disturbing.

Since data is a $200 billion industry, I wouldn’t expect this dark pattern to phase out any time soon.

Just try to be mindful of what you’re sharing online.

Also, check out stopdatamining.me to see how ridiculously difficult it is for you to opt out of every companies data policy.

And yes, it’s next to impossible to delete your data entirely.

Roach Motel

This is where the design makes it very easy for you to get into a certain situation, but makes it hard for you to get out of it.

Common with subscriptions, it’s easy to sign up to something and then frustratingly difficult to cancel.

A few examples include:

  • Spotify having you press cancel 4 separate times just to be able to get away from them.
  • The Boston Globe making you go to their FAQ section, and then phone them up directly in order to cancel.
  • Ticketmaster signing you up to Rolling Stone Magazine, only to make you post them a cancellation within 30 days (more on this later).

It’s all just a competition to try and add in as many steps as possible since you’re less likely to go through with it if it takes you ages to cancel.

Sneak into Basket

You attempt to purchase something and, somewhere along the purchasing journey, the site sneaks an additional item into your basket.

Often through the use of an opt-out radio button or checkbox on a prior page.

I’m spoiled for choice on this one.

Our old friend Ticketmaster seems to think that everyone wants a subscription to Rolling Stone Magazine, and through the use of an opt-out checkbox on the order page, it’s more than likely a lot of people have signed up.

Oh, and if you want to cancel it, you’re going to have to print out the form, fill it in by hand and mail it with a stamp within 30 days.

Another great example is GoDaddy, the popular domain hosting service.

Search for a name you want to buy, and it flashes up saying “ONLY $0.99 for the first year”.

Let’s say you buy a few of these, and you’re expecting to pay around $17.

Now, when you go through to the checkout page it’s suddenly at $150?

OH, that’s right, you wanted 2 years instead of 1, as well as privacy protection on all domains.

But, we didn’t ask you, we just assumed. That’s cool, right?

Just a quick note, it’s now illegal to sell privacy protection in the UK and some EU countries, so if you are looking for a domain, don’t fall victim to this.

Trick Questions

You respond to a question, which, when glanced upon quickly appears to ask one thing, but if read carefully, asks another thing entirely.

Do you know those checkboxes that require a PhD in Quantum Physics to decipher due to how many double negatives they put in?

That’s a trick question.

Companies purposefully make these confusing, so that you’re more likely to sign up to whatever it is they’re offering.

Here’s a nice example from Currys, a leading electrical supplier in the UK.

curry's types of dark patterns

You’re most likely going to tick the first box, and out of habit will probably tick the second box.

I hope you love third-party offers!

Protect Yourself from Dark Patterns

As always, thank you for reading. I hope this article has given you some insight into how companies are manipulating you online.

Whether they’re trying to take your money, your data, or even your social media accounts – they definitely know what they’re doing.

The crazy part is that it’s all completely legal.

It’s going to be a mainstay on the internet for a long time to come, especially as so much money is involved.

The best thing you can do is keep informed and up-to-date on dark patterns, and share this article to anyone you think will benefit.

discord parents guide

Welcome to our Discord app review for parents. Continue reading or find a table of contents to your right:

If you’ve never heard of Discord before, you’re not alone.

Despite barely being 4 years old, the app already has over 250 million registered users 1 1. Wikipedia: Discord × . Most of whom are gamers.

If your child is a gamer, more than likely they’re using Discord.

But, what is it? And if it’s so popular how come I haven’t heard of it?

In this Discord app review, we’ll go over these questions, as well as many more.

We’ll also talk about how you can manage the time your child spends on the app, and make sure they stick to your guidelines.

Let’s get started.

What Is Discord?

Discord is a free-to-use voice and text communications app that can be used on almost every platform.

The vast majority of its users play video games, and Discord is starting to build up its platform to offer more rewards for gamers by partnering with gaming manufacturers.

what is discord

On Discord, users can create what’s known as a server which is only accessible through a specific invitation link.

Within this server, people are free to communicate in text or voice channels dedicated to different purposes.

For example, someone might make a server based around their favourite game.

Inside the server, there may be a general text channel, a place to specifically talk about the game, an area where users can discuss their favourite anime and even a section to post memes.

Alongside this, they’ll include a few voice channels to make it easier to communicate and share ideas.

discord app review

All of these channels can be locked to certain members of the server, depending on their rank, and moderators are able to keep an eye on the type of content that is posted.

Discord is incredibly easy-to-use, available everywhere, and offers a much-needed service to gamers around the world.

No wonder it’s so popular!

What Do Parents Need to Know?

In this section, we’ll give you a brief overview of the main elements you should be aware of in order to be able to keep your child safe on the app.

discord parents safety profile

Discord plays an important role in your child’s social life

Imagine if you were able to instantly connect, chat and share whenever you wanted with all of your friends. Now imagine you’re not just limited to friends, but can easily communicate with anyone interested in all of your hobbies. Therefore, if you’re trying to limit your child’s screen time by restricting gaming, you need to consider how they will react to their social life being taken away.

discord video chat

Poor age-restriction.

Discord states that their app is only for those aged 13 and up, and if you want to view adult content you have to verify your age. However, like most of these services, a simple checkbox bypasses any block that might be in place. This leads nicely into our next point.

Discord is home to a large amount of adult-only content

Firstly, we’re not saying that your child is going to stumble upon porn as soon as they download the app. The issue is, a large number of servers include an NSFW (not safe for work) channel for people to share graphic images and videos. This isn’t something you’re going to find on the majority of popular servers such as Fortnite, PUBG, or anime. But once you delve a bit deeper into more niche topics, it’s very easy to find.

Want to keep your children safe online? Our friends at Covenant Eyes provides device accountability and monitoring.

See what games your child is playing

As long as your child hasn’t disabled it in the settings, their current activity is visible to all of their friends and servers. It might say “currently playing Fortnite” or “listening to Spotify”. As a result, if you’re friends with your child on Discord (which we’d highly recommend), you can monitor their activity much more easily.

discord app gaming

The app is free-to-use, but…

That little b-word always makes its way in somewhere. Users can access 99% of all Discord features for free, but there’s also an option to subscribe for $4,99/m to Discord Nitro. This enables people to share server and game-specific gifs and emojis, as well as a unique username and animated profile picture. Only a small portion of the userbase subscribes to Nitro, but as more and more games are offering exclusive features to Discord users, that may change in the future.

How Can I Make Discord Safer for My Children?

This is a question we see all the time in our Facebook Support Group for Parents.

The problem is, there isn’t a simple answer – Discord is as safe as you let it be.

discord parents guide

As we mentioned earlier, it’s possible for your child to come across graphic imagery, regardless of how careful they are.

There are a number of servers which could introduce your kids to a very toxic environment, and that’s something we want to avoid.

Here’s what we’d recommend for a parent trying to make Discord a better environment for everyone:

  1. Have an honest discussion with your child about staying safe online, and understand why they’re using Discord. Don’t be confrontational with them, just let them know online safety is a family value.
  2. Make an account and take some time to familiarise yourself with the app. Try joining some servers by doing a Google search of “game + discord server”. Note: This will require you to download the app on your smart device or computer.
  3. If you’re worried that your child is spending too much time playing video games, let them know you’re interested in learning more about Discord and want to be their friend. It’s possible that they will be hesitant at first, but assure them you won’t join any of their servers, you just want to become more invested.

Unfortunately, aside from the few things I just mentioned, there isn’t much more you can do to monitor or limit your child’s Discord time.

There’s always the option of talking to your internet provider about app/website blocking, or time monitoring. But, that might be too extreme for some people.

You can look into Covenant Eyes, Bark, K9 Web Protection, Circle, or Family Zone for help with that.

Final Word: Discord App Review

Like with most apps, the issue isn’t with the program itself, it’s with the people that use it.

If you let your child join servers full of random people, then soon enough they’ll come across something they shouldn’t see.

If, however, you manage their time on the app responsibly, then it can be a healthy and effective way for your child to communicate with their friends.

An increasing number of parents are worried about how to raise their child in a world dominated by gaming. If you’re one of them, check out our article about How To Raise Successful Kids That Play Video Games.

The article is a summary of a recent interview with Jordan Shapiro, author of The New Childhood, and it’s a fantastic resource that every parent should look at.

If you found this Discord app review helpful, be sure to share it with other parents who are concerned.

I found myself in a bad place.

I was completely addicted to one particular game – an MMO called Black Desert Online.

The thing is, I was really good at it. I enjoyed playing the game so much I actually stopped working so I could play it 24/7.

Why would I do something like that?

I was trying to make sure my name remained relevant in my own little digital heaven.

I wanted to be remembered.

Turning My Back on Gaming

Black Desert Online

As expected, things went south fairly quickly. I soon had to find a job and get back to work.

This was the catalyst for change. I ended up selling my account and didn’t look back once.

Just like that.

I remember, in the interview for my current job, my boss was telling me that the job could be boring.

My reply: “Don’t worry, I’ve been known to do the same thing for 18 hours straight and even enjoy it”.

I still cringe thinking about it, but I ended up getting the job. However, like most jobs, I soon became pretty bored.

I wasn’t fulfilled and I found myself having way too much free time. So, I started using this time to go to the gym.

It turned out that I could carve out a decent shape if I just follow a good workout plan. While this was a great habit, it didn’t help with the boredom.

That’s when I started experimenting.

Firstly, I turned to audiobooks.

I’m allowed to wear headphones at work. So, I started listening to fantasy audiobooks like the Wheel of Time series and Brandon Sanderson novels.

Maybe I still had the bug for getting enveloped inside a fantasy world.

This newfound passion for audiobooks worked really well for about 8 months.

But not well enough, I guess.

I was getting bored. Again.

Life Became My Video Game

After a bit of searching for things to do, I came across an app called LifeRPG.

This completely changed my life.

LifeRPG allows you to track your habits and goals, but it presents them in a way that makes real life into a video game. liferpg example

You gain experience for completing missions and can earn real-life rewards once you finish a certain amount.

I spent a couple of days getting into the app and adding little missions for myself.

Finish workout = finish a mission.

Clean my car = finish a mission.

It’s like having daily quests from an online multiplayer game.

Complete missions, get exp, level up skills, and earn crystals with which you can use to purchase your own custom rewards.

I was using LifeRPG every day, for a time, but it really got interesting when I decided I wanted to get into programming.

I started to study a lot, and almost forgot about the app. Then, one day, I remembered it existed and decided to use it to encourage myself to study.

I added dozens of missions, even rewards and stuff for myself. Some of my rewards included a day off or an unhealthy snack, to more expensive things like buying a new laptop.

Real Life Gamer

Not long after I discovered something called litRPG books.

I still only really listen to audiobooks, but I noticed that there were a lot of them involving characters playing MMOs.

They’d have stats that level up during the book, and it was as close to playing an MMO as you could – without the playing.

So I started soaking them up. Awaken Online, The Land, Life Reset, The Gam3, The Way of the Shaman, and so on.

litrpg example

There are so many of them. Some are better than others, but I even enjoy the bad ones.

I’ve completely lost any urge to play MMOs because while I’m working and driving I’m listening to someone else play MMOs.

Positive thinking doesn’t quite work for me, but turning my life into a video game works wonders.

I’d rather randomly take out my phone to complete a mission and add rewards to purchase than start gaming.

My Life Has Completely Changed

man on top of mountain

In the past, my typical day would involve me waking up really late, playing video games all day, and then going to sleep really late.

I’d miss school, work, and whatever responsibilities I had in order to play.

However, now my day is completely different:

  • Wake up early for work
  • Weigh myself (mission)
  • Listen to an audiobook in the car
  • More listening while working
  • Go to the gym after work (mission)
  • Drive home, audiobook again
  • Study programming for a few hours (mission)
  • Browse the internet
  • If I have time I’ll complete some optional missions

I’m well on my way to become an experienced programmer, and I have a great routine and structure to my life. It’s been so long since I was a hardcore gamer that I haven’t got any issues saying no to games anymore.

My Advice for Someone Trying to Quit

just do it

Don’t expect to change your life without taking some drastic steps. You have to do more than just uninstall a game or two.

You’ll have to change as many things about yourself as possible.

Get rid of that ugly lamp. Buy a new mousepad. Toss your old clothes.

These things might not be holding you back, but being able to change these little things will make it easier to change yourself.

And remember – The best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is now. The worst time is never.

Thank you for reading my story. Hopefully, I’ve inspired someone else who’s reading this to turn their life around by quitting gaming, it’s well worth it.

Signing off – Herman.

If you want to find out more information about video game addiction, and how it might be having an effect on your life, check out the 90-day detox. Like Herman and hundreds of others on Game Quitters, you too can turn your life around.

An investigation into whether or not video games are designed to be addictive:

Video games have been around for over 50 years. They are meant to be simple fun and entertainment.

Previously, buying a video game meant buying a complete game.

There was no downloadable content (DLC), no cosmetic items, and most importantly, no loot boxes.

Developers were happy to release a full game with the knowledge that a good game would lead to a customer buying a sequel.

The more modern video game, however, is the opposite.

Games are now designed to keep you playing rather than rely on you buying the sequel.

Gaming companies are enlisting the help of PhD behavioural psychologists using state-of-the-art research and data to make their games as addictive as possible.

You’ve probably heard of games being labelled as ‘engaging’ and ‘fun’, but a lot of the time the industry chooses simple language to disguise the addictiveness of their video games.

Let’s go through a few examples of how modern games are designed to be addictive, and whether anything can be done about it.

Skinner’s Box: Addictive Game Design

In the 1950s, a well-known psychologist named B.F. Skinner discovered you could control behavior through the use of a stimulus and a reward.

You may recognise the famous “rat in a cage” videos where the rat has learned to pull a lever to receive food.

Well, believe it or not, the same techniques are used to great effect within video games.

A modern example of this is the Battle Pass system within Fortnite. The battle pass costs roughly $10 for 10 weeks, which is the length of one season in Fortnite.

This then gives you access to daily quests and objectives, which, when completed you’re rewarded with extra skins and emotes (dances/gestures).

It’s quite simple, really.

Would you rather pay $X to unlock everything or, a much lower $Y to unlock everything just through playing the game a lot?

You might be happy to pay $X up front, but imagine how a child is going to answer that question? They’ll take option B every day.

It tricks you into believing that you’re gaining a huge amount of value from a relatively small investment. When in reality, you’re trading large portions of your time just to make your character look a bit cooler.

Which leads us nicely into our next point.

Virtual Goods = Real Goods

Fortnite Virtual Store

As humans, we have an instinctive ability to tell if we like something in a split second.

For example, it takes one-fifth of a second to know if we are attracted to someone 1 1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01999.x × . Therefore, wanting something in the virtual world is akin to wanting something in the real world.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in South Korea. A law was passed in 2010 which states virtual items have the same value as real ones 2 2. https://www.adweek.com/digital/south-korea-rules-virtual-currency-on-par-with-real-money/ × .

These items are now acting as reinforcement for playing, as you’re likening your increased wealth in-game to being wealthy in real life.

Not to mention the attachment that most gamers feel towards their collection and ‘gamer lifestyle’.

For a lot of people, their online wealth is quite literally all they have. It’s an amalgamation of their life progress, achievements, and friends.

It’s no wonder that gamers are placing much more value on their virtual collection than their real-life achievements which, for a lot of gamers, is almost non-existent.

There have also been studies showing that addicts are more likely to identify with their online avatars, in an attempt to compensate for a poorer sense of self and lack of real-world progress.

Changing the Rate of Reinforcement

Reinforcement in video games is usually fast and frequent when you start playing.

“You levelled up! here is a reward!”

Receiving a reward every time you level up is known as a ‘fixed reinforcement ratio of one’.

This is manipulated a huge number of ways to keep you playing, such as:

  • Extending the time it takes to level up, therefore, increasing play time for the same reward.
  • Changing the reward rate from “fixed” to “variable” – this means you no longer get a reward every time you level up, or win a game, but at random intervals.

Studies 3 3. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-psychology/chapter/operant-conditioning/ × have shown that using variable reinforcement is by far the most effective (seen in red).

Graph of addictive game design feature variable reinforcement ratio

Unsurprisingly, it is also the one most commonly used in video games.

However, this isn’t to say that variable reinforcement is the only method used in how video games are designed to be addictive.

A number of developers combine variable rewards with constant rewards, to keep you coming back for more.

For example, in World of Warcraft (and most MMOs), you can always see your progress towards your next level. That way you’re still being rewarded for your effort, although you haven’t achieved that next level – yet.

Then, when you eventually level up you’re given a new reward each time. This is usually a new skill improvement, items, or unlocked quest(s). It’s this combination of the two systems that keeps you really hooked on playing every day.

Just watch this PhD Researcher from Epic Games (creator of Fortnite) describe how video games are designed to be addictive:

Loot Boxes

PUBG Mobile addictive design loot boxes

Game developers have taken this manipulation a step further in recent years with the introduction of loot boxes.

A loot box is a virtual item that can be opened, usually using real money, and contains a random virtual item with different levels of rarity.

Loot boxes provide another way of varying the reinforcement in video games.

Similar to gambling in real life, loot boxes give you a random chance to get a reward that. Loot boxes have been compared to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which have been linked to serious gambling problems.

There have even been cases reported of people losing their entire life savings on virtual loot boxes 4 4. https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/11/meet-the-19-year-old-who-spent-over-17000-on-microtransactions/ × .

Currently gambling law in most countries does not cover virtual goods.

Some video games reward you with loot boxes for achieving a level up. This gives you the chance to spend more money in the game, just to get a reward that you end up paying for anyway! It’s the perfect money-making machine.

Punishment for Not Playing

Farmville addictive video game design

A staggering number of popular mobile games such as Farmville and Candy Crush punish you for not playing the game.

Skinner referred to this as avoidance, meaning you perform a behaviour to avoid the negative outcome.

In Farmville, your crops will die if they are not harvested, even when you aren’t playing.

For example, you might plant some crops that take 4 hours to ripen.

If you don’t log back onto the game within 4 hours of them ripening, the crops will wither and die.

The only way to avoid this is to spend real money on ‘unwithering tools’, or to make sure you’re always logging into the game every day.

Avoidance has become one of the most widely used tactics in mobile games, keeping you as a customer, and increasing the chance that you’ll spend extra money on the game.

It’s these tactics that have led to the mobile industry becoming the most lucrative gaming market in the world, bringing in over 50% of the entire global revenue from video games since 2018 5 5. https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/global-games-market-reaches-137-9-billion-in-2018-mobile-games-take-half/ × .

Streaks and Daily Rewards

PUBG Mobile Daily Streak

How many games have you played where on your first-day logging on a screen flashes up saying “Daily reward! Claim now!”?

This is another common system put in place by mobile and MMO developers to keep you playing.

These types of game are reliant on you logging in every single day to level up your character, and they are going to do everything they can to ensure you do.

One thing they might do is show you a 30-day timetable of what you’ll receive if you log on for 30 days straight.

Initially, because you’re just starting out, that 30-day reward might seem incredibly powerful.

But after you play for a while, you will realise these rewards are actually quite useless. It was just a strategy to make sure you play that first month.

A lot of games also make use of a monthly subscription service, but include a 30-day free trial for their game.

Game developers know that if you make it through those 30 days, you’re much more likely to carry on playing and buy the game afterwards.

To top it off, developers will make sure you lose a portion of your items or progress unless you upgrade to the full version.

That first month is crucial for user retention and another place where video games are designed to be addictive.

In-Game Seasons

Seasons are a perfect representation of how the pricing model of the gaming industry has shifted over recent years.

Previously you would buy a game, play it, and finish it or trade it back in.

Today’s games are usually free-to-play and implement systems to keep you playing the same game.

One example of this, which is heavily used in Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, is in-game seasons.

PUBG Mobile Royale Pass comparison

If you weren’t aware, every 3 months games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile reset their progress.

This means that all of your hard earned levels and experience get thrown away, and you have to start from square one again.

However, you get to keep all of the cosmetic items earned through the battle pass system we learned about earlier.

If you don’t complete all of the quests available to you, you don’t get to unlock all of the rewards.

The start of a new season is also a great way for Epic, Fortnite’s developers, to introduce loads of new content in order to keep the game fresh.

In the past, they’ve introduced the infinity gauntlet from Marvel’s Infinity War, and whoever collects them all turns into a superhero wielding near unstoppable power.

They’ll also add a variety of new character customisation options such as skins, dances, and animations.

It’s this constant renewal of the game which keeps people enjoying it over and over again, and it’s been a huge contributor to Fortnite’s massive success – they earned over $2.4 billion dollars in revenue in 2018.

Video Games Are Designed to Be Addictive

You might not be aware of how video games are designed to be addictive.

are video games addictive

I hope this article has highlighted some of their tactics for you. Games are designed to keep you playing and increasingly, to get you to spend money.

Game designers are behavioral psychologists who are very much aware of the systems they’re putting in their games.

They’re implementing these strategies in games are marketed for children. With the explosion of the mobile gaming industry, it’s only going to get worse.

If you, or someone you know, might be struggling with gaming addiction, we’ve got loads of fantastic resource

s to give you the support that you need.

In this tutorial you will learn how to delete your League of Legends account in less than five minutes.

Ready to quit League of Legends? One of the first steps you want to take is to delete your account.

As someone who struggled with a video game addiction, one of the games I found most addictive was League of Legends.

I spent countless hours destroying towers, pushing mid, and learning how to last hit minions. When I finally quit playing video games last year, League of Legends was the first thing to go.

If you’ve come to the realization that the game is taking over your life, and you want to know how to delete your league of legends account, then you’ve come to the right place.

I’ll guide you through the simple process, and within 5 minutes you’ll be well on your way to a game-free future.

How to Delete Your League Of Legends Account

In order to start this process, you’ll need to be logged in to the League of Legends website.

Step 1: Head over to the support section at the top of the screen, and click on ‘Submit A Request’.

Step 2: In the ‘Request Type’ box choose account management, data requests or deletion. You might need to scroll down a bit.

Step 3: I need help with – I would like to delete my account.

Step 4 – Important: In the subject field, make sure you write ‘Account Deletion‘.

Step 5: In the final box you need to copy and paste the following text and answer the questions as best you can.

Account Name (The name you log in to the LoL client with):
Summoner Name (The name your friends see in-game):
The server you play on:
Original email address used to register the account:
Location that you registered the account from (City, Country):
Have you purchased RP on this account? If yes, please list the payment methods used to purchase RP:

This information is also available on the Account Deletion FAQ on the League of Legends website.

Finally, just select your language and if you know whether or not you’re a PBE player you can fill that in too.

Once that’s all done click Submit and you’re good to go.

Account Deletion Takes 30 Days

Now your account is in Riot’s hands, and the process will take 30 days to complete.

You’ll be unable to access your account during this time.

The only way you can recover your account is by messaging their support directly, provided it’s within five days of the end of the time limit.

If you’re struggling to find something to do instead of playing League of Legends, check out our huge list of hobbies and start changing your life today.

Related: How to Quit Playing League of Legends

Step-by-step instructions to clear your YouTube history:

Have you ever decided to watch one YouTube video about a topic, only to have your entire homepage become flooded with similar videos?

Unsurprisingly, YouTube is using their optimized algorithm to comb through your search and watch history, to recommend videos they think you’d like.

This isn’t usually a problem, but if you’re someone who has just started on your 90-day detox from gaming, it can be a struggle.

After people quit gaming, a number of them fill that void with YouTube.

I mean, why wouldn’t you? It’s an infinite trove of mentally stimulating content just waiting to be watched.

But, receiving recommended gameplay from your favourite video games can increase your cravings to play.

The best way to get around this is to learn how to clear your YouTube history.

And don’t worry, I’ve included the mobile version for you as well.

How To Clear Your YouTube History

Clearing your YouTube history is actually pretty simple. However, YouTube likes to hide all of your data (even the deleted stuff) behind another few steps.

How to Delete Your Watch and Search History

Step 1: Head over to your history tab on the left side of the screen

Step 2: You’ll see the two sections on the right-hand side. Click ‘clear all history’ in both of these and you’re good to go.

That’s it!

Now you get to admire your beautiful homepage in all of its glory.

Quick note – If you use the YouTube Music app you’ll have to go through the same process in that.

Clean YouTube’s Hidden Data

Now there are a couple of extra steps to take to delete the rest of your data Google has on file.

Step 1: Head back over to the history tab, navigate to the right-hand side and click on ‘manage all activity’.

Step 2: Click on the ‘delete activity by’ on the left side of the screen.

Step 3: Under the ‘delete by date’ section, change it to all time.

Step 4: Now press delete.

And, hopefully, you’re good to go.

Initially, this might not look like it has much of an effect, as your homepage has gone back to normal after clearing your watch and search history.

However, over time YouTube will feed recommendations back to you based on videos you watched months or years ago.

Mobile Version: How To Delete Your Watch History

The mobile version is pretty similar to the desktop version, it’s just laid out slightly differently. Follow the arrows and you’ll be all set.

Step 1: Click on Library in the bottom right.

Arrow Pointing to Library Tab on YouTube

Step 2: Click on ‘History’ at the top.

Arrow Pointing To History

Step 3: Tap on the three dots in the top-right corner.

Arrow Pointing To Three Dots In Top Right Of Mobile Screen

Step 4: On the pop-up menu, select ‘History Controls’

Arrow Pointing To History Controls Tab

Step 5: Now just click on ‘Clear Watch History’ and ‘Clear Search History’. Also, note that you can delete all of your YouTube data on this screen, similar to what we did on the desktop.

Screenshot Showing Clear Watch And Search History Buttons

And that’s it. Pretty simple.

If you find yourself giving into your cravings and end up binge-watching a bunch of videos, just go back, delete your history and reset.

If you’re looking to prevent these binge-watching sessions happening, we’ll be releasing a guide soon on how to get rid of all of the distractions on YouTube such as Recommended videos, Trending, and Autoplay.

So make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get notified when the video goes live. And leave a comment on the video about your experience with YouTube after trying to quit gaming.

Step-by-step guide to stop wasting time on Reddit:

For the longest time I despised Reddit. It was poorly designed, didn’t make any sense, and was just boring.

Then, roughly 2 years ago, I decided to really give it a go.

I learned how to use it, got on board with the Reddit sense of humour, and followed all the subreddits I could think of, including /r/StopGaming

I Was Hooked

reddit

For me, wasting time on Reddit was almost worse than being addicted to video games.

I’d spend hours scrolling through the front page looking at memes, gifs, reading countless life pro tips, and even watching porn.

And yet, I don’t think I could recall a single piece of advice I’d read on Reddit.

I was doing all this reading, convincing myself I was learning and improving myself when in reality it was going in one ear and straight out the other.

I had managed to curb my addiction to other social media sites, but Reddit was a stubborn beast.

I’m here to tell you, however, that it can still be tamed. With the right systems and a bit of effort, you too can learn how to stop wasting time on Reddit.

Stop Wasting Time on Reddit

You’ve probably noticed in the past that you unconsciously reach for your phone to start browsing the internet.

I’m bored, time to get out my phone.

I’m waiting for someone, better browse Reddit.

You’ve done it so much now that it has turned into an automatic response… a habit.

The good thing about habits is that they can be changed, and that begins with awareness.

I want you to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What need is my device fulfilling? Is it to do with boredom? Sadness? Tiredness? Or am I just lonely?
  2. If I take a day off from my device, will I be holding myself back?
  3. Is it an absolute must for me to use my device to complete a task?

Take some time to have a think, and try to get as in-depth as possible.

The more serious you can take it now, the easier it will be to overcome the problem.

Now, we’re going to use these questions again, so keep them somewhere you can see them.

Mindfulness Is the Key

the habit loop

The first thing you need to do is learn to be aware of your usage, and start catching yourself before it happens.

From now on, every time you go to pick up your device, you’re going to pause and stop yourself in the act. Take a moment to breathe.

It’s going to be tough to begin with, and probably won’t happen until you’ve already opened Reddit. But, the trick is to keep trying until you’re eventually doing it before it happens.

Once you’ve caught yourself in the process, I want you to ask yourself those three questions from before.

All we’re trying to do here is develop some self-awareness to our habit.

The first necessary step in changing a habit is learning what the start point of that habit is. In the Habit Loop this is called the Trigger.

Once you learn what your Trigger is, you can begin to work on controlling it.

Replace Reddit with Something Meaningful

After a bit of practice, you should have identified which needs you’re trying to fulfill by browsing Reddit.

Now, the next step is to find an activity that can fill that same need, without incorporating any unhealthy technology habits you’ve already developed.

In the New York Times Best Selling Book, Atomic Habits, author James Clear shares three ways to break a bad habit:

Whether you decide to eliminate Reddit completely or simply reduce your usage, finding a replacement habit to counter Reddit will be crucial.

If you’ve got no idea what to do, try looking back to a time where you were happy without technology. It might be a past experience or hobbies you used to enjoy.

A big one for me was playing music. Something I’d fallen out of touch with over the last few years.

We also have a list of 60+ new hobby ideas here.

The important thing now is to begin associating the urge with picking up your device, with the urge to spend time on your preferred activities.

An example of what this might look like with practice:

  • I’m lonely but I don’t realize it
  • I want to interact with my favorite subreddits
  • I realize I’m picking up my phone
  • “Why am I doing this?”
  • Realizing I’m lonely
  • Instead of browsing Reddit I’m going to message a friend to hang out

This is a pretty simple explanation but I hope it makes some sense to you.

What If I Can’t Stop Wasting Time Reddit?

slow down quote

Most of the time we pick up our phone, we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

It’s at this point when following the previous steps becomes difficult.

It might sound like I’m repeating myself but again, the key here is self-awareness and practice.

The best way that I’ve found to take control of the situation is to use those momentary lapses in concentration, when your attention naturally breaks from the screen, and attempt to catch yourself in the moment.

Instead of going straight back to moving your thumb up and down your screen, you’re going to try to and regain a sense of awareness of your surroundings.

A few things you could try:

  • Stand up and take a few steps
  • Press the buttons on your phone
  • Look around and notice where you are
  • Kick your feet or stretch your body

The key to these movements is to snap you out of that technology-induced trance.

Once you’ve managed to snap out of it, you can start focusing your attention on any tasks or problems you might have, and work towards solving them.

Can’t I Just Block Reddit?

Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from doing it. It’s something that I’ve used to great effect in the past.

There are well-known blocking apps like FocusMe, or my personal favorite, the StayFocusd extension for Chrome.

I put all of the sites I want to block on there and hit the Nuclear Option for 1000000 hours.

Also, make sure to block the extensions page as well as enable the extension in incognito mode.

Sure, there are ways that any tech-savvy individual can get around them, but there’s one big advantage to using a blocker: It helps to refocus your attention in the moment and catch you before you start browsing.

For example, you’re bored and unconsciously opening Reddit. As you do, a big warning pops up on your screen telling you to get back to work.

This triggers you into becoming self-aware of your surroundings and can act as a great way to snap you back into focus.

However, while blocking apps is great, you want to develop the ability to remain mindful and aware of the situation at hand.

The sooner you can address the reasons why you’re starting to browse Reddit, the sooner you can start developing more healthy habits.

It’s something that will benefit in the future far more than you realize.

Ready to quit playing Skyrim? You’re in the right place.

I’m not sure I can name another game that’s as immersive, nostalgic, and downright addictive as Skyrim.

Skyrim lets you feel like you’re a part of a different world. You can choose to be whoever you want to be.

Want to play as a hulking barbarian that has a deep-seated hatred for the Elves?

Or maybe you’re on the peaceful side and want to hunt animals, fish, and make a living in a small cabin with your wife.

Skyrim lets you do all of that, and more. But what happens if Skyrim has taken hold of your life? How do you quit?

If you ask people online they will just laugh at you. “You can’t quit, it’s too addictive.”

Therefore that’s why I’ve created this guide: I want to help you quit playing Skyrim and take back control of your life.

I Was Addicted to Skyrim

james good

Hi, I’m James Good

I still remember the feeling of rushing over to my cousin’s house after they’d just bought an Xbox 360, and seeing the intro scene for Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

The sweeping views over the Imperial City were like nothing I’d ever seen before, and from that day forward I was infected with the Bethesda bug.

When Skyrim first came out I racked up 26 hours playtime in the first 36 hours of its release. I used to boast about it in school.

Since that day 8 years ago, I’ve explored every nook and cranny of the world, I’ve installed more mods than I can count, I’ve even role-played every class imaginable. I still kept going back for more.

I’ve spent thousands of hours in that immersive world, and I’d spend thousands more without batting an eye.

Even now, after being game-free for over 7 months, hearing any piece of music from an Elder Scrolls game makes me want to start a new character and jump right back in to that imaginary world of Dragons, Draugr and damned Dwemer ruins.

Getting Back to Basics

Before we dive head-first into this, we need to address the issue at its source. Is your problem with Skyrim itself, or are you just addicted to gaming?

Let me know if any of these sound familiar:

  • Gaming is the dominant activity in your life, and you’re preoccupied with what you’re playing or you’re going to play next
  • When you’re not gaming you’re anxious, irritable, bored or even sad
  • You aren’t satisfied with just an hour of playing. You need to push yourself further and further.
  • You’re not as interested in your other hobbies anymore, just gaming.
  • Do you keep playing games despite knowing they’re having a negative effect?
  • Has gaming significantly affected your personal relationships, school or career in the past?

If so, you might be addicted to gaming, and your problem might run deeper than just Skyrim. Check out these video game addiction signs and symptoms to find out more.

With this newfound knowledge in hand, we can begin addressing the problem.

How to Quit Playing Skyrim: Step-By-Step

When people begin their journey towards a life without gaming, some choose to quit completely and others try to play in moderation.

If you’re reading this article then you already know that playing Skyrim for a few hours a week just isn’t going to work. This might not be easy to hear, but you’re going to have to cut the game out completely.

All your characters, mods, quests, and even the hundreds of dragon bones you’re definitely hoarding in your house. No ifs or buts. The game has gotta go.

But deleting Skyrim and all of your games on Steam isn’t going to work unless we have the proper systems in place. You need to build your foundations first.

Step 1: Why Do You Want to Quit Skyrim?

This is the most important step, and you should spend time thinking about it.

Maybe you’re tired of feeling the way you do. Perhaps you’ve envisioned your life 10 years from now: still depressed and playing video games and it’s been a wake-up call.

Maybe you’re sick of being alone, and want to have a real group of friends.

It might even be as simple as having goals in your life that you know you won’t accomplish if you’re still playing Skyrim 30 hours a week.

The journey of quitting video games isn’t an easy one. It’s full of challenges and even cravings. Having a clear reason why will help you solidify your purpose for overcoming this addiction. It’s something you can look back to when things start getting rough.

Action step: Write down why you want to quit Skyrim. Then, post it somewhere you will see it to easily remind yourself.

Step 2: What is Your Vision?

Now that you know why you want to quit playing Skyrim, let’s figure out what kind of person you want to become.

One of the biggest issues when quitting video games is finding something to fill the void. You need to fill dozens of hours a week with activities that, initially, you won’t find entertaining at all.

The simple thing to do here is to pick a few different hobbies, perhaps ones you’ve wanted to try for a long time, and commit to working on them. You need to find activities that you like, that you like a lot. Remember, you’re trying to compete with video games here.

Sounds daunting, right? The reality is, once you start living without video games things will start to improve rapidly.

You’ll start to see the true beauty of real life, and realize that there’s so much more out there than completing quests and getting new gear.

Once you stop constantly bombarding your brain with happiness-boosting dopamine, you’ll start finding joy in places you never thought possible.

That’s when you start to make real change in your life.

You’re no longer a gamer. You’re a surfer, a musician, an entrepreneur, a climber, a writer, an engineer, a photographer or whatever else you want to be.

Tie these activities in with your ‘why’, and you’re going to be unstoppable.

Action step: Pick and write down three new hobbies you are going to try. Here is a list of 70+ replacement activities.

Step 3: Committing to Quit Playing Skyrim

You have to get honest with yourself. You’re embarking on a journey, and it’s not some level 1 escape-the-sewers quest.

This is serious stuff. You have to make a commitment to yourself, to your friends, and to your loved ones.

You have to decide to quit playing Skyrim. There’s no playing in moderation. You can’t use it as a reward. You will quit gaming cold turkey, 110%.

Make the decision not to touch them at all ever again. And most importantly, you have to mean it. Make the decision to delete your Steam account now.

If you’re not willing to do this, you’re just going to start playing games again, and find one of a thousand reasons to justify it. The excuses stop here.

Action step: Join us on our forum and introduce yourself. Document your journey.

Step 4: Level Up in Real Life

After quitting gaming 7 months ago, my life has changed in more ways than I thought possible.

I became a self-employed web designer, writer, photographer and musician. I’ve even got friends all over the world lifting me up to reach goals I’d only dreamed about.

The biggest change is that I finally feel content in what I’m doing. I’m not suffering from any more mental health problems, I’m working on something I love doing, and I’m actually happy.

For the first time in years I’m genuinely enjoying my life at the moment, and I’ve only just begun. I don’t care how realistic graphics have become. You will never find a more immersive and rewarding video game than real life.

You’ve been through the tutorial, beaten the puberty patch, and now you’re just about to embark on the main quest. There’s an infinite amount of skills waiting to be leveled up, you just have to go out there, and do it. You have to take action.

You’re starting a new chapter of your life, so make it a good one. Create something that you can look back on in 5, 10 or even 50 years and be proud of.

Think about how different your life will be if you make this decision today. How much smarter, happier, fitter, and better off will you be if you start now? Start now.

Need More Help?

Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

The digital age has changed parenting, and today over 83% of teenagers play video games. So how do you raise successful kids?

We interviewed Jordan Shapiro, PhD and author of The New Childhood:

Shapiro realized that the world his children are living in is much different than when he was growing up.

Their experiences are focused on digital media and he didn’t know how to deal with the issues that arose from that.

This is the first time in history where parents have to raise successful kids surrounded by technology.

So he set out on a journey to research and create the necessary tools to understand an electronic world.

Raise Successful Kids: Step 1

social media

First, you have to understand technology, video games, and social media. It’s no longer optional to avoid the conversation around screen time.

You need to be able to guide them through this new age and manifest your ethical vision of the world.

You need to get involved with your children and learn how to use the same tools that they’re growing up with.

It’s important to have the right attitude as you walk through this digital landscape to raise successful kids.

Responsible Use of Video Games

raise successful kids who play video games

While struggling through a divorce, Shapiro’s children were using video games as an outlet for their problems. But, he had to ensure that they didn’t become dependent on the online world for solutions.

He realized that he didn’t want it to become an escape.

Related: How to Overcome Escapism

To counteract this, he played video games with his kids. It sounds counter-intuitive, but you have to remember that children want to be like their parents.

By playing these games, he was able to control how often they were played and it became a tool to bond as a family.

In the Game Quitters Parent Support Group on Facebook a parent shared the story of how she tried to learn more about video games by playing them herself.

While her son was out she logged onto his account and tried to play. It was a terrible experience. Quickly she was exposed to trash-talk and hate messages for being a bad player.

In order to avoid having your child become addicted to gaming in their formative years,  Jordan recommends starting much earlier in the child’s life.

The sooner you can start to build positive habits the faster they will develop healthy attitudes towards digital media.

This is easiest to do during the phase your children want to mimic you.

Originally Shapiro’s children wouldn’t come to the dinner table when they were asked. But after years of building habits they eventually started changing their attitude.

Now, it isn’t even an issue trying to get them to listen to him. If you try to do this with a 13 year old it becomes much, much harder.

What If Gaming Is Already an Issue?

kid playing video game

If you’re struggling with a game-addicted child become interested in what they’re doing.

Ask them why they’re playing and what’s happening in the game. Ask them to tell you about the decisions they make and how it affects the game.

This helps to shift gaming from an escape, towards being an activity you can talk about as a family. As rapport improves between you and your child, you will be able to start helping them build healthier habits with gaming.

You don’t have to like the game, but there’s a difference between disagreeing with your child and trying to have a genuine discussion with why they like the game.

Need extra help? Purchase a copy of our video game addiction guide for parents.

Parents, PewDiePie and Pop Culture

youtube

There’s a whole world of online media that parents wouldn’t believe existed, even if you showed it to them.

The craze of YouTubers, Twitch Streamers, memes, and much more.

The biggest example of this is the YouTuber “PewDiePie”.

Children are sitting down and watching videos such as his “meme review” almost religiously.

How are you supposed to help your kids if you’ve got no idea what they’re doing in the first place?

Try asking them to tell you which videos they’re watching and why.

Instill a voice of reason in their head, so that you don’t have to constantly tell them to stop.

Raise Successful Kids: Shift Your Focus

youtube

We tend to fixate on how many hours of screen time should my kid have each day? How long have they been playing video games?

You have to remember that it’s not just about hours, it’s about everything surrounding it.

Jordan’s attitude towards his kids has always been that you have to go outside, read books, and talk to real people, and if you can still play games for a few hours after that… then there’s a bigger problem we need to address.

After hearing his child laughing to himself late one night, Jordan wanted to why.

He didn’t instantly shut off the internet as many parents would do. Instead, he asked his child what time he thinks is reasonable to go to sleep.

His son replied 10pm. So Jordan introduced an automatic cut-off for wifi in the house at 10pm each night.

By going through this process, and not being reactive, he allowed his son to make the decision and included him in the conversation.

It stops them from feeling belittled by your choice to talk to them, which only makes them go on the defensive.

A lot of children might feel bad about playing too many video games. It’s your responsibility as a parent to make sure they feel respected, and that they have a voice. Allow them to feel people are willing to listen if there’s a safe space at home to do so.

Be Mindful About Technology

mom on smartphone

Research shows kids have more behavioral problems when their parents are addicted to technology.

Shapiro notes that he’s mindful about his own technology in his household, but not necessarily for his children.

Through his actions and decisions, he tells them what they need to be doing and how to have a healthy relationship with technology.

He thinks that these devices are great for connection, efficiency, and developing social skills. But if that pulls him away from being present, that’s when he knows it’s an issue.

Using the example of friends coming over to play, Shapiro states that his children can’t just play video games when their friends come to visit.

They should have real conversations while in-person and they can keep in touch with each other via technology.

To raise successful kids is about being mindful of living in the present moment. It’s about realizing that if your child has a problem, it’s more likely that you have a problem too.

Read Shapiro’s book: The New Childhood.