What is Pokemon Go?
Does this look familiar? Rarely am I in the loop on trending technology and this past week was no different. Pokémon GO was released on July 6th. What is Pokemon go? you ask. It’s a smartphone app where gamers attempt to catch cute little critters on screen, while out and about in the real world. I think I saw a post or two about it on Facebook, but I paid little attention. Not until Monday, when the rage hit home.
Monday morning, I drove out my usual route and saw a group of middle schoolers gathered at the local common. It’s summer, so that was no surprise. I observed every kid in the group nose to phone. Again not surprised – such a sad reflection of society today.
I went about my day and not until dusk did Pokémon GO strike again. Just Julia and I were home and when I passed by my front door I noticed a young man, maybe 15-18, squatting down across the street. He was looking at his phone and appeared innocent enough. I saw him in the same spot 10 minutes later – I thought that was odd. I called Julia over to see if she recognized him – she didn’t. No need to panic, but I locked up just in case. Julia and I kept watch – when the guy began repeatedly walking back and forth past our house; all the while face in phone, I started to get nervous. I called Tony who said he’d head right home from a work event, then I called my neighbor down the street. Neighborhood crime watch was in effect and we decided a call to the police business line was warranted. Just as I was about to dial, I saw my neighbors from up the street on an evening stroll. By this time the “stalker” had walked slightly out of view. I frantically waved over my dear friends to alert them of the lurker. I explained the scenario and without hesitation they both said, “Oh, he’s Poké hunter.” A what?
They explained it was all part of the Pokemon Go craze, to which I promptly asked, “What is Pokemon Go?” I had not idea what they were talking about. Now, however, I notice every Pokémon player I pass. Soon enough I became aware of the pros, but mostly cons of this funny phenomenon.
- Kids are getting out and exploring the world outdoors (albeit with their face in phone)
- Kids are banding together in the spirit of fun and games (albeit with their face in phone)
- Kids are actively combating summer boredom all on their own (albeit with their face in phone)
- Kids’ faces are still in their phones
- Kids aren’t watching where they are going – They are crashing their bikes and I almost ran over a boy who stepped into the road without bothering to look up.
- It’s dangerous – phone locations are being tracked. In some cases players are being lured into very precarious situations. Just yesterday, this article came out in the Wall Street Journal.
- If you’re not careful, crazy moms, like me, will call the cops on you because you’re loitering suspiciously outside our homes.
- Finally, it’s a quick drain on your phone’s battery.
In the end
While it seems the cons outweigh the pros, I don’t discount this new age of game play, but as a mom I would like to see the safety kinks worked out before I say go ahead, “Catch ‘em all.”