Pokemon Go and Me

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So Pokemon Go has been here for a while now. And its certainly taking the world by storm. Some countries have banned it (Iran used BAN. It was super effective) and people are even starting to come up with their own conspiracy theories surrounding the popular Pocket Monster app, such as its being used by the CIA to track peoples locations, Japan are using it to map out certain areas, etc. There are some good ones out there.

I have an Android and was lucky enough to download the app before it was released properly to the masses. However, I got no joy from it. I only found the odd Pokemon here and there, levelled up a little bit and the app kept crashing. So I gave up. Even when I visited my family up in Manchester, a city, I still found nothing! I seen others enjoying it and got frustrated that my app wasn’t working. My family tried to get me back on board, but I refused out of stubbornness. Why should I have a broken app on my phone?

So I returned home and my husband had been catching Pokemon whilst I was away and had caught a lot of different ones. He told me to re-download the app and we could start Pokemon searching together. I gave in, downloaded the app again and there was my level 2 avatar, waiting for me to come back. And now I’m level 11! My Pokemon catches and hatches include a 2k egg Pikachu, some Eevees, a Ponyta, couple of Jinxs and of course tons of Pidgeys, Rattatas and Weedles!

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I’m very happy I was convinced to start playing Pokemon Go again because its really helping me. People who know me know I’m not a slim person and I suffer from social anxiety. I also lost my job two months ago and broke my wrist in Feb this year. So my emotions and mentality are all over the place at the moment. However Pokemon Go is making me go out into the sun, wind and yes, rain, to catch Pokemon, visit Pokestops and become social.

Corby is a little town compared to Manchester, so Pokestops are scattered around and you need to get moving to catch anything. We have a gym behind our house (but I’m not really into the gyms) and the nearest Pokestop is in a playground 3 minutes away from us. Oh yeah, that’s a big problem I have with Pokemon Go:

Please stop turning pubs and playgrounds into Pokestops!

Sadly not all parents understand that some adults play Pokemon Go and I had to explain to one mother why I was stood by a playground with my phone. It wasn’t just me stood there either. There were 3 couples and some teenagers hanging around near me, but because I was alone, I looked suspicious. After I explained to her, she laughed, apologised and asked what I had caught and showed me her daughter’s collection.

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Anyway, back to a positive! So I got the app back roughly 22nd July and I figured from hatching my 2k, 5k, and 10k eggs that I had walked 24k in that time. Which I’m astounded by! Some of it I did alone, others with my husband. Now the app does have a tracker and it claims I have walked 33.77k! This was at level 10.

It says now I have walked 33.83k on level 11. Its not much of a difference, but I do hope its almost spot on because this has given me such a mini confidence boost. Due to my wrist still recovering from my fall, I cant do any exercise which can put pressure on my wrist. Pokemon Go is just walking and I hold my phone in my right hand or keep it in my pocket! It doesn’t affect my bad wrist at all.

I mentioned before about my social anxiety. Some days it’s bubbling below the surface and I can just about cope. Other days I cant leave the house. The thought of going outside fills me with dread, I start to sweat, my chest tightens and it can result in a panic attack. I hide. I actually go upstairs and hide in our bed until I have calmed myself down. But I wont leave the house that day. This has been my life for so long. But you try and mask it in public as best you can. And sadly some days you just cant do that.

When I’m out playing Pokemon Go with my husband, I have my security there. I don’t feel anxious or feel afraid. But he works Monday-Friday. So I took it upon myself to go out and catch Pokemon alone. It is bloody scary. Just walking 10 minutes alone makes me anxious, but I have progressed up to over 2 hours! In 3 weeks I have walked 30+km and most of it has been done alone! To me, this is a MASSIVE improvement. I have caught the sun on my skin, well my arms and I feel happier when I’m out. Some days I will just walk for 30 minutes and need to get home ASAP. Others, I just want to keep walking.

Sadly I have caught the odd nasty remark about playing Pokemon Go which does make me angry as I’m not hurting anyone. And the majority of people who make these remarks to me are older people who are either the same size as me or bigger. Now I wont call anyone in regards to their weight, but this is helping me both physically and mentally. I’m here doing something about my health and well being. Shouting at me from a bench or making a snide remark from your window doesn’t show you in a good light! Leave me be to play my game and enjoy the fresh air. I was in a great mood, laughing with complete strangers until you decided to butt in with your negativity.

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The Internet has also had an increase in Pokemon Go memes. Some are hilarious, others are just plain old nasty. But that’s the Internet for you. The meme to the left is hurtful to me on a personal level. An ex friend, who knows I have been job searching for the last 2 months and playing Pokemon Go, put this on their Facebook page after we had a massive falling out. Believe it or not, I can do both. I job search in my home and catch Pokemon outside. Even employed people play Pokemon Go!

Why do people who don’t play Pokemon Go care so much about others playing it? We aren’t hurting anyone. We’re getting fresh air, exercise and socialising. So where is the problem? Kids are going out more instead of spending their summer indoors and are making new friends from it. Our local GAME (as have many other stores) hosted a PokeWalk and the turnout looked great! Just walking by someone and hearing the Pokemon theme playing brings a smile to my face. Something many of us grew up with (and was bullied over) is now being loved and enjoyed by the latest generation of gamers. Pokemon games are selling more and its become a big phenomenon again.

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I have met some awesome people on my Pokemon Go travels too. Some of them include a builder who works at a PokeStop and keeps grabbing items and Pokemon for his daughter on her phone, an elderly couple who have spent the last couple weeks travelling with their granddaughter around local towns and villages catching Pokemon together and a family who are pretty much at our local park daily having gym battles! Pokemon Go shouldn’t be seen as something bad. Its bringing people together from all walks of life and ages. Social interaction is needed more nowadays and if an app about catching little creatures is what does it, that’s awesome in my book.

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