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Online game and app invites can be total time-sucks

SOS! Can virtually anyone take a hint about online app invites?

These are the time-sucking virtual games, quirky quizzes, and other distractions that fill up a user’s notifications box and news feed on social networking sites like Facebook. And, no matter how many times a person posts cease-and-desist pleas, the invitations continue to come.

People crack me up. Honestly, they do.

I shared a friend’s “Please don’t send me Facebook game apps” graphic message on my wall recently. Guess what happened.

That’s right. A dozen friends immediately invited me to play a variety of virtual games. Others asked me to send them coins, hay bales, poker chips, and other virtual goodies. But my cyber-pockets are empty, because I do not play any of these games.

Let’s get this straight.

I don’t farm, run a restaurant, grow weed, race cars, fight dragons, crush candy, tend bar, guess song titles, sling short-tempered birds, play poker, shoot pool, test my IQ, or pursue any number of other virtual games online. I don’t wonder what breed of dog or cat or bird or horse I am most like. I couldn’t care less which Disney princess or Harry Potter character most embodies my world view. I don’t want to know how and when I am supposedly going to die or which four friends are the most fun or faithful. (Actually, that last one is pretty obvious to me already – thank you very much.)

Here’s a news flash: If I’m online, I’m probably working.

At least, I ought to be.

So why do people keep on sending invitations for all of these time-sucking games?

It’s sort of another pyramid scheme, I suspect. Many games offer participants free tokens, turns, or points for inviting friends. Do they receive extra credit for inviting folks that have already asked not to be invited? Perhaps not.

Yes, I know users can block Facebook apps. You can block all app invitations. Or you can block them individually, as you receive them, using the handy little button on the right of each invitation post.

But c’mon now.

Along similar lines, I disable the chat feature on Instant Messenger for the same reason. Scores of writer do the same. Few interruptions are as frustrating as seeing sudden conversations springing up all over the screen when one is honing an introductory paragraph, coming up with a creative caption, or tweaking a telling title.

Somebody stop ‘em! 

Hey, I am happy to hear from friends. I’m delighted to discover someone might be thinking of me. But I can also be easily distracted, especially when I’m working on deadline. Writing time is anything but playtime.

Adapted from public domain artwork

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