In conjunction with our health story this issue, the new COMO Living Advisory Board talks candidly about the games, websites, and apps that both steal their time and bring them joy.

Muriel Browder, Community Volunteer
Atari 1600, Atari 2600, “Tetris,” “Mario Brothers,” Game Boy, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, iPad, and “Angry Birds.” I know this looks like a list of video systems and games you purchased for your kids, but these were the ones I once owned and played! I was a gamer from the beginning. I started with “Pong,” “Centipede,” and “Pac Man,” went to Atari, and settled into the world of Nintendo. Today you can find me playing my three favorite games: “Bridge Base,” “Words with Friends,” and “1010!”. The further we advance in technology, the better the games. We’ve come a long way from a little white ball bouncing back and forth across the screen!

Ann Merrifield, Columbia College
What did we ever do without smartphones? I use mine to keep in touch with my family, to check my work email when I’m out of the office, to help me get from Point A to Point B, and as my digital photo album. My guilty pleasure? Yahtzee! The box game was my favorite growing up — I especially liked the sound the dice made when you rattled them in the cup. But I’m currently playing with five different players, none of whom I know personally. (If you’re cgcoreymama, quit rolling Yahtzees!) I must admit that there are times when I let the game interrupt my work — speaking of which, I’ve gotta go. Need four more sixes to get bonus points.

Stacie Pottinger, Rogue Studios
Sadly, I haven’t found a game to replace the devotion I once held for “Candy Crush.” I’m not sure what happened between “CC” and me. For a long time, we were inseparable, and then we began to drift apart. She became infuriating and sneaky, and I was beginning to feel like we weren’t on an even playing field anymore.  I know I shouldn’t keep score in relationships, but I must admit, I was. And then I just stopped. One day, I had enough. I know there must be another game out there for me — it’s been years since I felt that adrenaline rush. But for now, it’s just me, my audiobooks (that I can’t stop myself from calling “books on tape”), and true crime podcasts.

Barbie Banks, Citizen Jane Film Festival
If, like me, you love telling and consuming stories, your latest digital device addiction must be Snapchat. This app is not just for kids! It’s for quick and sometimes frivolous sharing that you can do in 10 seconds or less. Snapchat allows you to snap photos or video, chat, and make little pieces of art right on your phone. It connects you directly to your friends and family in a fun, creative, and prompt way. Snapchat is the best way for you to follow friends and family throughout their day. You might get a quick glimpse into your cousin’s Uber ride, or your partner’s bike commute to work. Or, as in my case, your best friend might reveal her second pregnancy to you through a 10-second video of her ultrasound! Snapchat’s creativity and playfulness add value to your storytelling and makes connecting fun and silly.

Carolyn Paris, Carolyn Paris Consulting
I initially found being conscious of my relationship with my iPhone annoying. Pulling up to a stop light, checking my email. Waiting for an appointment, checking LinkedIn. Waiting in line at the grocery store, checking Facebook. This new awareness was not only annoying, but I noticed it kept me separate from being present to myself and my surroundings.

Michele Towns, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri
I have equal love for Instagram decorating and Pinterest, but my true addiction would be Facebook swap shop. Not only do I buy stuff on FB sites, I also sell items on a variety of swap shops. It’s amazing how many you can join in Mid-Missouri. I’m constantly on the hunt for myself or my friends. It’s a great way to clean out your stuff and make some cash.  My taste in decorating changes so often my husband has stopped worrying whether he likes a room or not –it’ll change the next week. He’s supportive of my bad habits and I support his golf habit, so it’s a win/win at the Towns home.

Nancy Allison, Shelter Insurance
Technology is not something I’m addicted to, but rather something I’m fascinated by. I am a 1956 model — I grew up with a party line, meaning I had to wait to make a phone call until the line was free from a neighbor using it (no privacy back then either). So I love technology when it works, but when it doesn’t, not so much! I recently bought a new car, and I’m amazed by the technology on this vehicle. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next two to five years with this type of technology.

Adonica Coleman, A2D Events
When I hear the word addiction, it recalls for me the types of things that people must have, cannot live without, would lie, cheat, or steal to get, etc.  That word has nothing to do with me, right? A middle-class suburban mom and business owner with great community service references? Or does it?  When it comes to today’s digital world, I must admit to being a teeny tiny bit hooked on Facebook. I like to believe that I primarily use it for business purposes. After all, according to everything you read about owning a small business, you absolutely must have a social media presence to make it these days. Do I use it for business purposes? Yes. Do I also use it to see pics of my cousin’s new baby and my friends at a country music concert, to read a shared news article, and to post pics of our latest vacation? Yes. There’s no need to go into how many times I log in a day, or whether I check to see if my last beach pic got more likes than my pic in the cowboy hat.

Curious about digital device dependency? Check out our health feature.

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