So as anyone who has ever known me at all will know, I am a major Pokemon fan. I grew up on the anime and video games, and I still love the games today.
I was pretty stoked when I found out about Pokemon Go. It’s the closest to catching Pokemon in real life as we’re going to get. Have I tried it? Well, no. Shocker, right? In my defense, my phone doesn’t have a lot of storage and I’m pretty sure the iOS software that I have is outdated.
Anyway, that’s not the important part. I saw memes online about bosses leaving notices about their employees playing it too much, people trespassing, and people being condescending because they should be finding jobs instead of playing it and just negativity surrounding it.
At first, I thought it was ridiculous that there has to be reminders about responsible Pokemon training. If people are trying to find Pokemon while driving or at work, they had problems before Pokemon Go.
Then it hit me. Smartphone culture is just distracting, regardless of what app you are using.
I won’t even reference an article here, because I saw too many examples in my time. I see people use Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat in class. I’ve gone out to eat or otherwise socialize with people glued to their phones, to the point where I don’t even know if they are listening to me. I’m guilty of being on my phone during a meal too, of course, but I’ve been better with that. Plus there’s Candy Crush, Angry Birds, and many other mobile games before Pokemon Go, that people are addicted to.
Even before Smartphones took off, people were already distracted. Yes, young ins, there was a time when we didn’t have Snapchat on our phones. No, this is not your chance to call me a dinosaur, old fart, or whatever else you are calling people who aren’t teens (For the record, I am 24).
Instead, us giddy high schoolers would text our friends in class if we were bored. I didn’t go on Facebook until after I left high school, but I saw many of my classmates use their computer lab time to play on Farmville and creep their classmates’ pictures.
Even in university, I saw people play Mario Kart and other Nintendo titles on emulator in class.
Don’t even get me started on texting and driving either. I was leaving high school when I found out this was a problem, and most people weren’t owning a smartphone. It’s become so bad, laws had to be changed in Ontario so the punishment can be harsher if you are caught. The law was changed before Pokemon Go was launched, so clearly distracted driving was a problem long before we had the chance to catch them all.
There’s an argument that some accidents or otherwise bad situations wouldn’t have happened without Pokemon Go. That’s true, but many other accidents wouldn’t have happened if the driver involved refrained from drinking, smoking, putting on makeup, talking on the phone, texting, and enough distractions to fill up both sides of a piece of paper and then some.
Technology is great, don’t get me wrong, but unfortunately people just get too distracted with it and are faced with consequences, as they should be. There’s no reason you should be playing Pokemon when driving, just as there is no reason to text someone you are on your way when driving. You shouldn’t be trespassing someone’s property to catch a Pokemon, just as the same reason you shouldn’t be trespassing just to tell your peers you trespassed somewhere.
The other sad thing that happens about anything popular is that it gets hated on quickly, but it surprises me that people still don’t realize that if you hate something popular, it will not go away. Remember when you hated on Justin Bieber and Twilight in 2010? Did either of them disappear? No. Bieber made more music and arguably, better music, and more Twilight films were released to complete the saga.
For those of you playing Pokemon Go, enjoy responsibly and don’t do anything that makes Pokemon fans like me look bad. For those of you who think this app is silly and are going to point fingers at it, consider if the way you’re addicted to your Smartphone or social media is any better. Considering some people enjoy pretending they are a piece of toast on Snapchat, it’s likely not.