First off, I feel like I need to give some background. I’m a 31-year-old woman. I’ve never played Pokémon before and generally, I don’t lean toward Pop or Nerd Culture. My husband still is shocked and slightly offended when I get Star Wars and Star Trek confused. Now, with that out of the way, I have to say, I’m totally digging PokemonGo.
I’ve had it for 4 days now and I made it to a level 6 today, but I’ve been so fascinated watching it grow through the Internet. If Pokémon is here to stay, or just a passing fad, I’m enjoying it. Here’s why.
1. Connection! I believe that people are hard wired for connection and Nintendo, of all things, has come up with a simple way for people to connect through and outside of their phones. PokemonGo has created a culture where the expectation is to talk to other people around you. My husband and I have gone out a few times to collect Pokémon and it’s we’ve talked to everyone from 10 year olds out with their parents, mid 20’s still living with their parents, couples in their 30’s and even people our parents ages. This is such an instant easy conversation starter and, I feel, that the expectation is to have conversations. We haven’t started any deep meaningful relationship, but we need more simple positive everyday encounters.
There are so many stories on the Internet of 100’s of people gathering in parks because of lures. When was the last time 100’s of people spontaneously, peacefully gathered together, just for a moment to enjoy a simple thing as one? Rarely.
I’ve seen stories and pictures of cops hanging out playing the game with teens. There’s a relationship that needs mending, for sure!
There are bunches of people talking about how Pokémon has gotten them to do things they don’t do: Get outside and talk to people. People have said it has helped them with depression, anxiety and PTSD. Not going lie, I teared up a little when I read all this.
2. Exercise: PokemonGo gets people outside! You get rewards in the game for walking. People who might normally stay inside when it’s beautiful and sunny are now out enjoying it. Guess what that means. They are getting more Vitamin D, a vitamin we are seriously lacking that contributes so much to overall health. People are now walking more, for fun. It’s no secret obesity is a problem in America. Now, it’s much more enticing to get those 10,000 steps a day in! My Fitbit has been seeing the results of Pokémon!
3. Photos/ Don’t’ take yourself too seriously: There’s a feature where you can take pictures of the Pokémon in real life. It’s really fun to take a picture of a Pidgey in the parking lot like a real bird. Or keep forever the moment of fight a rhino-something Pokemon to get into your car. It’s fun. It’s silly. It’s light. As long as you’re not taking yourself too seriously, there’s magic all around.
4. Explore: I love Longmont and I love sharing Longmont with people who come to visit. This game gets people to know their own town even better. It’s when we get out of our cars and start to explore by foot that we truly get to get know a place. Part of the game is going to different Pokestops and Pokémon Gyms to get rewards, basically. These places are parks, museums, libraries, and churches. Kids are walking to libraries and museums in the summer!!! I can’t say if they go in or not or spend any time there, but they know it exists now and there are plenty of places who have been taking advantage of the free exposure.
And now, for the big reason I don’t. True, there are many things I could probably put here, but there’s only one that REALLY bothers me. BAD POSTURE! Having bad posture does more than make you look bad. It can effect your health in many ways.
While you’re looking down at your phone to find your Pokémon or engage in battle, it brings your head forward, in front of your spine and your head is heavy. When you’re in perfect alignment, your body is supported they way it’s supposed to be. When your head is hanging forward, it’s like hanging an 11 pound bowling ball off of a 4-inch branch. That’s up to 30 pounds of extra weight by just having your head a few millimeters forward! You can easily imagine that branch is going to experience some extra stress on it. That extra stress on your spine can create worlds of problems!
There are also less obvious consequences to standing like this. Poor posture also can causes tingling in hands and fingers, has also been linked to increased stress, depression, fatigue, and behavior and memory problems.
But the problems don’t stop there! When your head comes forward, generally your shoulders and upper back come with it. Now you’re starting to look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Not an attractive look for anyone but Quasimodo. Again, it’s not just problems with appearances here. Once everything starts rounding forward, there’s more pain, breathing problems from a decreased lung capacity, digestive problems, impaired immune function, increased chances of arthritis and low back pain.
The scariest part of all of this is that all these conditions are happening to younger and younger people. Now we see X-rays of teenagers coming in with no cervical curve. 30-year0olds are starting to get degeneration on their vertebrae. 60-year-olds’ necks are fusing together. Your posture when you’re young can effect you for your whole life.
Good news is you don’t have to be this way! You don’t have to be in pain or fear the diseases that come with bad posture. The simplest way to fix all of this is to STAND UP STRAIGHT! Your mom has been right all along!
So when you’re out there chasing after Pikachu and Charizard, remember to stand up straight and hold your head up high! After all, everyone else is also playing Pokémon too and they know exactly what you are doing.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or if you want to make sure you don't, give us a call or send us an email to find out how we can help you!
P.S. Feel free to share any good catches you find around the office with us on Instagram or Facebook! We'd love to see what you get!