I, like much of the world that has access (sorry, UK), am in deep with the Pokemon Go (or PoGo as the cool kids call it). Despite server issues, glitches, and what otherwise would be deemed a poor release, it’s the latest craze and, intended or not, I’ve ruminated on some additional benefits.
This is probably obvious, but because the app uses GPS to track movement, you can’t do the FitBit cheat where you shake your hand and get steps. You have to actually move a significant distance.
This is my step count before noon today and you better believe I’ll go out again this evening.
Combating Social Anxiety
Over the last few years I’ve developed major social anxiety. I’ll just straight bail on things I said I’d go to because I start to have a panic attack at the thought of being in a social situation. I have hated trying new places, especially by myself. If I have a purpose, like looking for new pokemon, it gives me something else to focus on, a purpose, a mission, so my anxiety doesn’t have time to ramp up. I don’t have the empty space in my head to worry. Also, if I encounter people who are clearly doing what I’m doing (you can totally tell by the way they wander in weird patterns like bees signaling where the honey is), we have something to talk about so I’m not stuck with, “Uhhh so it’s really hot today.” Maybe it’s endorphins or dopamine or norepinephrine (that’s a thing right?), that come from all the walking…who cares? It’s AWESOME.
There are many places I just wouldn’t normally go because 1) the anxiety of trying a new place (see above) and 2) I just didn’t see a reason to check that place out. There’s a park by my house I’ve wanted to check out since before I moved to where I live now and I just never went. It’s home to 2 gyms and like 10 pokestops though so first chance I got I jetted over there and spent like an hour walking around. Added bonus: It’s SO nice to spend time outside and I don’t even mind the aforementioned heat.
There’s so much I want to say about this game that it will probably come out in a few posts, but those were the initial things I wanted to get out. What do you think? Do you play? What do you love about it? What are you hoping to see in the future?