First of all, I just want to clarify:
The technology behind this app is amazing. It’s great to see people out interacting and getting mobile with one another. That being said…
Yesterday my boyfriend, step son and I went to Eau Claire to walk around and visit the park. Everywhere we looked people were in crowds staring at their phones. They weren’t talking about life or enjoying the scenery, rather we overheard terms like, “wartotle,” “squirtle” and a few discuss “farming,” which i am certain has nothing to do with actual farming. People would stop dead in their tracks making it so you almost run into them just to catch a Pokemon. My boyfriend and I watched this strange phenomenon at first rather amused, but it slowly turned to concerning.
People were walking everywhere face down. One woman smashed into my side (I’m 8 months pregnant) and didn’t even say sorry, didn’t look up or anything, just kept walking.
When I got home I did some research on the new app. The users give it full access to their location and provide photo documentation of various areas around our country.
This is where I have a major problem with this. If you haven’t currently watched the news, the world is engaged in a war of terror. There are a few super powers who would do anything to get valuable intelligence regarding military establishments, court buildings, police stations, government buildings… The list goes on. And our citizens are out there, documenting this very same intelligence and willingly handing it to a corporation. You also give it access to your google account, which may seem harmless but it shows whomever is collecting this data trends in purchases, common interests, basically everything about us, I mean who doesn’t Google stuff?
And lastly it scares me a little when I see unsupervised children playing it. I watched one walk head down through our back alley while searching for something. What if a car came flying around the corner? What if a predator was watching them, would they be prepared to run? If someone isn’t there to help them pay attention to their surroundings they could be in great danger, and as a mother that concerns me.
As I said before, I think how it’s getting people out and socializing is amazing, I just wish we as a society could look up from our devices every so often, go for a walk in a park and talk about life, not technology, if maybe we could absorb the beauty in this world rather than be slaves to a new game with bright-coloured, imaginary, cute creatures to collect and compare ourselves to one another.
I’d rather overhear people say, “I plowed 3 fields and fed the cows, or “I finished the basement,” or, “we went for a hike today,” instead of,” I’m a level 57 what are you?”
If an app developer could make something interesting, that got people into nature but involved them not looking at their phones the whole time and teaches them real skills… We could be onto making this world a better place.
Until then my friends, enjoy catching your pokethingys, I know you’re all having fun but please do be careful, be mindful of your surroundings and the people near you. I sincerely hope whomever collects the data for this app does not have a malicious intent for it… Or else we’re screwed, screwed by pokemon.