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26 Mar
Editorial Team.
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The Flappy Bird Theory - Explaining Your Ever-Elusive Search For Happiness.

Have you ever played Flappy Bird? It’s an incredibly frustrating game. The user has to control the protagonist ( A Bird ) by tapping on the screen and pass between green tube like obstacles without hitting them. The more obstacles you pass through the greater your high score.

That pretty much sums it up.

No one knows if it was the 2D graphics or the annoying bird that kept dying, but the game blew up all over the world. Suddenly everyone was playing it and it was pretty much everywhere.

I did a quick study while writing this and found out that before the game was shut down (The creator was guilt-ridden because he had created something so addictive!) in 2014 they were earning daily advertisement revenues exceeding 50K dollars!

Now you are probably thinking what does this have to do with your life. I’ll tell you.

See Flappy Birds is just one of those many apps that come and go from our ever-evolving cell phones. We download things that everybody is using and become overly obsessed with it. Over time like our beloved martyr Flappy Bird such apps are forgotten and soon enough they are erased from our phone.

Now in all this, an evergreen pattern emerges.

Step 1 - Everyone is downloading this game. I need to download it too and find out what all this hype is about. It surely can’t be this special.

Step 2 - You finally download it.

Step 3 - You use it. You don’t really understand what all the fuss is about. And you use it anyway.

Step 4 - You can’t stop using it. You’re hooked. You even tell some people, “You haven’t played XYZ Game? You’re hopeless. You need to play it now!”

Step 5 - You get bored. But, oh well. It’s the best game ever. Let’s still play it. Not as much as before. But you keep at it still.

Step 6 - It’s just plain boring now. You delete it and move on to the next one.

Now let’s bring Flappy Bird into context here.

The object of the game is to avoid the obstacles in front of the bird. But, that’s just the surface. You never really played the game for that did you? You played the game to make a high score or beat your previous score. Hence, it can be safely assumed that your unrelenting search for the ever elusive high score kept you going.

Now understand something. Human wants are unlimited. All of us are inherently wired to satisfy our ever elusive search for happiness. If you’re thinking you are an exception it’s because your definition of happiness is slightly different. You’ve assigned this emotion to the happening of a certain event or material gain. For example -

1) I’ll be happy if I get this job.

2) I’ll be happy if I become famous.

3) I’ll be happy if I get a 90%.

Yet, when you get there you aren’t really happy. You want more. Then you’ll probably want -

1) I’ll be happy if I get a promotion.

2) I’ll be happy if I win a Filmfare Award.

3) I’ll be happy if I get into this college.


Similarly, we play Flappy Bird in search of our next high score. Let’s say we reach 100. Then we play on to reach 120. This goes on and on until there comes a time when we just get bored and move on to our next game.

This brings us to a very important question - To what end?

None of us really know what happiness is. We attach it to something in the hope that it will fix this emptiness inside us. We work hard to get there and finally realize it didn’t work. So we fixate our attention to the next high score till we reach a point when we just stop believing. We settle and stop because we don’t really know what we want.

The reason I wanted to write this is because countless times I’ve been in class and we’ve been asked - Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

The answers are almost always uni-directional.

1) I want to be in a law firm.

2) I want to be an IAS officer.

3) I want to go abroad.

Yet no one ever says - I just want to be happy. We fail to realize that the happiness we so desire doesn’t exist.

All these TV shows, advertisements and movies have shaped and conditioned our beliefs. Very few of us can tell the difference between fiction and reality anymore.

You are living in a harsh and unforgiving world - running after things that you’ve been made to believe would give you the satisfaction you so desire.

You need to think long, very hard and ask yourself this - What is it that makes you truly happy? What is it that you really want?

Because one day your phone memory will run out of space and you will not have the energy to delete your Flappy Bird and move on.

What do you think about our Flappy Bird Theory? Let us know.

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The Wall and Us Editorial Team.

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