Pokémon: A Phenomenon

I have a confession. I am not a trendsetter. I am not even much of a trend follower. OK that’s less of a confession and more of a statement about how often I am living under a rock.

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Pokémon Go at the Highbanks Nature Center.
But now that we have established that I am not cool or in the know it’s not a surprise that the Pokémon Go craze was upon me before I had heard of it.
I mean upon me in that while driving on a relatively major road in my community I encountered two grown women standing in the street with their gaze firmly fixed upon their phones. Then I started to see gaggles of kids moving in little swarms also eyes cast downward toward their phones.
The looking down at the phones wasn’t much of a surprise but the meandering outdoors and in groups was an eye catcher.
Then I started to hear rumblings of Pokémon Go or as my husband calls it “Pokey Man Go”
I think he might have it confused with the Hokey Pokey.
If I see him shaking his phone all about I’ll know for sure.
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Little did we know how serious this craze had become until we showed up to run at a metro park this weekend. The place was packed, parking was at a premium and people everywhere. Already this was not your typical situation on a July afternoon when the heat index is climbing well into the 100s.
But quickly we realized none of this was typical. Again, there were odd clumps of people standing looking at their phones or random wanderings out in front of cars. And scarier yet, people driving cars while totally engrossed in what was on their phone.
As our run continued, we saw a handful of people who were not looking at their phones who seemed to know they were, in fact, in nature. Everyone else was wandering around looking for Pokémon or whoever it is. While, normally, running in the park without a phone is a common occurrence we were, by far, the outlier this time. On the few times we made eye contact with the Pokémon Goers they looked at us oddly. I’m not sure if it was the eye contact that threw them or maybe they were reacting to the freaked out expressions on our faces. It was nothing short of a phenomenon to witness.
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This really isn’t a picture of me and Swaggy J. Check out all the Pokémon Go happening in the background!
I could not quite get over it. I’m all for something encouraging folks to get out in the world and move but this, by the casual observer, seems like zombie migration or some kind of mind control experiment.
But again, I am not cool nor a trendsetter.
Or maybe it’s just that I am old.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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