Article by Wendy McCance
I am all for a good game like Pokemon Go that has the ability to get kids out of the house and actively moving about. I love seeing my son get together with his friends to walk or bike around the neighborhood looking to catch all the Pokemon creatures. It’s nostalgic for him and he’s having a good time.
In general this latest craze is just some good old-fashioned fun. It’s heartwarming to see a bunch of kids travelling around the neighborhood together on their bikes and going on an adventure. It’s the stuff of times long ago when kids played outdoors and used their imagination. There were no electronics back then that kept kids in their homes on a gorgeous summer day barely moving and isolated from their friends.
Sadly, I do have concerns. Safety concerns. The other day my son came home excited to have found a new Pokemon. He found it because he saw a woman stop on the street with her phone and it looked like she was playing the game. He walked over in the same direction and found what she was looking at.
I immediately went into hyper-parenting mode warning him of stranger danger and how he should never get too close to someone he doesn’t know in a situation like that. I pictured people luring kids by pretending to be looking for Pokemon (because adults are hooked on the game too and the kids know it they might have the guard down about walking up to them). It scared the hell out of me.
In fact, just the other day, my son came inside amused because he caught the mailman who drives down the street in a little mail truck playing the game on his phone as he went by. It’s a huge craze and EVERYONE seems to be hooked.
Even though my son is having a blast, as a parent, I have concerns. I worry about him getting hit by a car because he is paying more attention to his phone than where he is going. I worry about him making poor decisions and going somewhere secluded where he could be robbed or worse. I worry about child predators and how easy it would be for them to target these kids who are preoccupied on their phones. The worries go on and on.
It’s just awful to be so concerned over a game that is in and of itself harmless and great fun for the people playing it. I’m sure I sound way too overprotective. I am trying to keep my worries to a minimum. My son DOES play the game. I DO make sure he is cautious and is aware of potential problems. I TRY my best to leave it at that.
What about you? Do you worry about the potential dangers that could be associated with playing Pokemon Go? let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]