Pokemon Go Home: Public Phone Usage

People using their phones out in public is nothing new and has increased largely in terms of social acceptance. Ten years ago it was rude to have your mobiles out while involved in a conversation. Now we all hold our phones in our hands when we’re socialising, even at formal events like weddings.

This normalcy and frequency of public phone usage is changing the world’s social landscape. Technology is seeping into every form of socialisation and group activities, replacing verbal exchange between parties by locking our eyes and attention to a screen. Where before dinner was strictly no screens allowed, the television now plays in the background while we eat at the table in silence. Particularly noticeable in the younger demographic, we now get together at cafe’s with a group of friends and all sit scrolling through Facebook.

Our lives can seemingly be lived through our phones, with an app happy generation progressively finding an app for pretty much everything. Tinder was a real break through in what-the-fuck-is-society-turning-into technology. Never fear awkward encounters, small talk about the weather or actually chatting to a real life human: now we have an app for when you’re horny so you can basically shop for a hook-up. Add to cart. Swipe left. Or right. I don’t know. That’s going straight in my basket.

We all knew the progression of our technology crazed society would bring some pretty stupid innovations; enter Pokemon Go where you *Go* around chucking balls at things. Get it? Because it’s Pokemon on-the-go. Genius. Make no mistake, it’s all virtual; anyone with real balls probably doesn’t play this dumb-ass game.

First off, here’s some stats to educate ourselves about this goldmine of an app (Expanded Ramblings 2016)

  • On its busiest day Pokemon Go had 25 million users
  • 60% of users are male, 40% female
  • The Japanese police issued 727 tickets for Pokemon Go related offences within the first two weeks of its release
  • Users have walked an estimated 4.5 billion kilometres catching Pokemon
  • There are a currently estimated 30 million users

Congrats, Pokemon Go developers. Your app has successfully sent humans chasing after little animals that look like various forms of the numbered experiments from Lilo & Stitch over the farthest distance Neptune has ever been from the sun. Apart from that there is little evidence to have us believe it has done much more.

In an argument for Pokemon Go, the app aims to meld the virtual world with the physical by bringing the game into the natural environment and getting everyone outside to breathe in the fresh oxygen. What a feat. However, instead of going somewhere and soaking in the view, Pokemon Go makes you look at the scenery that you’re standing in on the screen in front of you, completely defeating the purpose of venturing outside.

On that same note, before Pokemon Go we were at least keeping morons with technology indoors. Now they’re running around outside where there are people trying to do actual things.Our favourite cafes and hang outs are being turned into Poke` stops with people milling around, taking up all the seats, blocking all the entrances and generally disrupting the peace as they break their phone screens in an attempt to win whatever the hell the prize is. Peel your eyes away from your Pikachu’s and observe the following behaviour that is consistent pretty much everywhere amongst Pokemon Goers:

The game is pretty much one giant accident waiting to happen. On a lovely spring day I decided to soak up the sunshine and was jogging past a Poke` hot spot only to be rebuffed by a large group of idiots with their heads down, eyes on their phones and blocking the entire pathway. Another day I was driving along to see a man cycling down the side of the road right near the same hot spot, swiping away on his phone as cars drove right beside him. Do not Pokemon and pedal, kids. There’s already been a ridiculous amount of car accidents with people stopping unexpectedly, jumping out of vehicles and swerving onto the opposite side of the road in their attempt to ‘catch them all’. The only thing catching here is idiocy. Before we know it people will be wading into oceans and walking off cliffs after these little monsters. I see a law suit on the horizon.

It’s a sad day where someone says “gym” and you’re not sure if they mean fitness or trying to battle someone for a Pokemon. Rest assured if someone starts creeping on you in public with their phone as if they’re filming you, you’re probably sitting on Poliwag, or Poliwhirl, or Poliwrath. Until the next craze, ya’ll have fun flinging fireballs at imaginary creatures while we take a serious look at what the world has become.

Sources:

Smith, Craig 2016, Pokemon Go Statistics, Expanded Ramblings, viewed 20th September 2016

 

 

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