- Internet & the Web
Pokemon Go Phenomenon
Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm it seems and there has been many mixed opinions on it on social media sites. Now I have often said (being of a generation that grew up without computers and the internet etc, which makes me feel REALLY old and sound too much like my mother) that the internet is both a wonderful invention and a terrible one. I, much like everyone else, rely on Google for just about everything I need to know from recipes to phone numbers, from directions to weight conversions, from which actor was in which film to buying gifts and just about everything in-between as well as Facebook, Twitter and my work website etc and often wonder how we managed without it. On the downside though I think it has restricted youngsters in going out to see and interact with friends as they can IM them easier than actually leaving the house, it has opened up a world of cyber bullying with no consequences, made studying a case of copy and paste instead of reading and learning and resulted in a lot more introversion in the younger generation. (wow I really do sound like my mother! I’m not sure I like this!) Smart phones are owned by just about every teenager and often pre-teens too and the zombie apocalypse often used in horror films seemed to be coming to fruition in the form of technology by way of mobile phones. However all was not lost…..
Someone then came up with the idea that if people (not just teenagers I might add!) were going to have their faces in their phones all the time why not use this, and so Pokemon Go was created. Now I don’t for one minute pretend to fully understand it all, I know you hunt Pokemon and join groups to try to catch rare ones and evolve them but that’s the extent of my knowledge, BUT I do see people from all walks of life mixing together to play the game, I have seen people with social anxiety, depression, autistic spectrum disorders and other mental health issues going out and socialising with others regularly which for some is the first time they have felt able to without judgement. Age, race, culture, gender, ability and ethnicity is not an issue at a time when all over the world these are major issues. One game is managing to unite all walks of life in a way Governments cannot even begin to comprehend. I have seen youngsters go from being sad having no or a few friends to having lots of friends to meet up with, I’ve spoken to parents who have tried to get their children to go out and socialise with others to no avail who now say they are always wanting to go out. It may not be ideal to some as it is still using phones etc but we are in a technological world now and need to move with the times. Anything that unites instead of divides people is a winner as far as I’m concerned.
Yes there are safety issues, there are always safety issues whatever you do. watch when crossing the street, don’t follow strangers away from the crowds, don’t chase Pokemon on your phones when driving (yes people do that) these are common sense issues. However families are going for long walks together so the children can catch them and by doing so learn about their environment and neighborhoods that they never noticed before, youngsters are getting fresh air and exercise and socialising with one another and while the children who are old enough to be out with their friends without supervision are having fun catching Pikachu and his friends mum/dad/guardian/carer can have a peaceful glass of wine in the garden.