Hi, my name is Jenni, and I’m a 45 year old adult who is pretty heavily addicted to Pokemon GO.
Now before you dismiss me for that, read on, because I feel my reasons for loving this game are pretty solid.
First of all, let me put it out there, that my new “hobby” of Pokemon GO may be the nerdiest thing I’ve even been involved in. And this is coming from someone who used to be thoroughly excited to clip coupons from the newspaper ads on Sunday mornings and organize them into my Dollar Store accordion coupon pouch.
A couple of weeks ago I was volunteering at my 5th graders school, putting together first day packets. There were 4 moms there including me, and a couple of students. I nonchalantly, and rather fishingly asked, “So, do any of your kids play Pokemon GO?” And the response from two moms was “Yes, and so do I!” We talked Pokemon for the rest of the packet assembling with our Pokemon GO apps open on the tables.
Shut the front door. I’ve found my tribe.
When the game first came out and my son began explaining it to me, I told him, “Wow, that is an absolute brilliant app.”
He showed me this a day later, and it was hilarious (truly no political agenda here, just funny), and oh so true to what my friends were posting on Facebook about their kids walking their dogs and getting out of the house for walks and bike rides daily:
Then I started seeing seeing stories of the game’s therapeutic benefits, which as a Recreation Therapist, really spoke to me. Getting kids in hospitals out of their rooms, getting high anxiety, or isolative kids and adults out walking in their community…amazing.
My son told me I should download the app, I did, then I got hooked. Not sure why. I’ve never been into any game other than my tried and true Words With Friends. Our family does like to Geocache when camping, so maybe it’s because Pokemon GO is a bit similar to geocaching, in that you need to find things, and Pokemon GO has constant findings and rewards.
I have to admit there was a bit of nostalgia seeing all of the Pokemon names. My son loved Pokemon cards when he was young. I still vividly remember the time that he exclaimed, “Mom! I have coughing and wheezing!” To which I of course replied “What? Are you ok? When did that start?” Turns out he had Koffing and Weezing Pokemon cards that he just got out of his new deck.
Back to present day, I don’t know about your house, but in mine, having two teenagers and one preteen, conversations can be sparse at times. I have awesome kids, but sometimes, the dialogue can have constant splashes of attitude. For now though, it’s not uncommon while playing Pokemon GO, to hear one sibling say to another “I just evolved my Caterpie into a Metapod, look at how cute and funny he is!” A whole new non confrontational language and conversation piece.
This has been a new activity that I can share with my kids. We all enjoy it, and are all super interested in it. Most days after I pick them up from their schools (an hour event to get all 3 from 3 separate schools), we head somewhere for about 1/2 hour to an hour to play Pokemon GO together, usually enjoying a smoothie along the way rather than just heading home eventually ending up in our separate activities or interests after recapping our days. Recently, when we go somewhere new, or out of town, we talk about being excited for what Pokemon may be there. (I know, nerdy, but hey, I’m good with nerdiness.) Being able to have fun doing something together with my 16 year old son, my 13 year old daughter, and my 10 year old daughter is truly awesome. I don’t know how long the thrill of this game is going to last for all of us, but I’m going to enjoy it while it’s here.
I posted the following on my Facebook page a few weeks back:
“I totally thought this was funny when I read it. Then I started thinking about it, running around finding #Pokemon is a break from the crazy that is needed for a moment.”
Honestly, life gets hard. Scary stuff happens, and things get stressful and hard to handle. A check out from reality is needed and welcome sometimes. This app allows me to decompress, to mindlessly look for cartoon characters to pop up, and get excited about new ones I haven’t caught before. In all honesty, it combats my stress and anxiety at times by being able to go on auto pilot for a bit.
Last night, my husband was out of town, and I took my 3 kids out to dinner downtown, where we were all excited to go because there’s a lot of Pokemon GO action! As we were leaving the restaurant, a couple who was sitting outside watched us as we walked by and judgmentally said, “they are all looking at their phones.” These are the times where I believe I need a shirt made with the motto that I tell my kids sometimes when they get concerned about others, “You Do You.” Basically, mind your own business, worry about yourself, you don’t know what other people are going through.
Frankly, if catching a Squirtle, Leveling Up, or having three of the four of us in a frenzy while in the car taking turns to try and catch an Arcanine that has ??? as the CP value brings me or my family joy, I’m all in.
The glory of being 45 and having this hobby, I honestly don’t care what anyone else thinks. Although, let’s be truthful, I’m not going to put a Poke ball on my purse or anything, it’s just that I can’t care about what people don’t understand.
Poke on friends!!
For my tribe, you get me: