Before I write another word, here is a disclaimer, I have been a huge Pokemon fan right from my high school days, in fact, back in the early 2000s when trading Pokemon cards was a thing, I was proud owner of some really legendary Pokemon cards. Such was the craze in the friend circle, that we would set up trades and battles, even on the morning of important tests at school. You might have already guessed that my fascination therefore with the game is a little more extreme than for an average person who is just playing the game for the fun of it.
Perhaps, the game may not have taken all this away from you, but Pokemon Go has been a cause of a fairly decent chunk of my productivity going down. Yes, I am walking a bit more than I would, and that is good, but I am walking with the mindset of picking Pokemon and not because I want to walk. Just the other day, I came home very disappointed after a 4 km walk because all I caught was a bunch of Rattata and a Goldeen, when, if I was genuinely working out, perhaps I would have seen the achievement on my fitness tracker and felt proud of. This is just a small incident, while the game is amazeballs clearly, and has some really nifty stuff going on, it has taken a few things away from me, and after writing this post, I am perhaps going to get these habits right, how they were.
Kindle is no more the best friend while traveling
If you stay in a metro like Mumbai or even Delhi like I do, you know the commuting time is a major pain. I spend easily about 90 minutes of my day traveling. I would use this time judiciously reading a book or two and that helped. Despite a fairly busy day, I was able to keep up with my books and it gave the satisfaction of not missing out. Since the game, I am keener on catching these fictitious characters rather than reading what Zlatan Ibrahimovic was like when he was at Ajax or how Paul McGrath battled acute alcoholism. The fact that there is an air of un-expectancy, the game keeps you hooked on. I tried to read and catch Pokemon, but no, that does not work out. Although I take the same route every day, there is a chance of a new Pokemon every day, so not like I would put the phone down and get back to the book, even though the route has been explored several times.
That urge to quit Google Maps and Fire Pokemon
I have been there a few times this week alone. Traveling to a new place, where I had to use Google Maps. Unexplored places equate to new Pokemon, and the urge to just quit the Maps app and see if there are any rare Pokemon around is just too severe. I have given into it a few times and lost the route, causing a problem not just to myself but to my driver or the cab driver too. Why can the app just not always run in the background so that the regular work is not hampered? This could potentially be hazardous too, and I am not proud of it. Got to be mentally stronger and concentrate on the route.
Wanting to catch up on the series and movies all over again
Pokemon was a childhood friend. It was my best friend at school. Since then, a lot of new interests came and gone. With Pokemon Go here, you want to go back and see all those episodes again. As if I needed another thing to sit before the large screen, post all the football and the usual sit-coms that I am back watching all the episodes of Pokemon again and not to forget the Pokemon movies. My back is crying, so is my ISP and productivity. It’s like your ex is back in your life, who you tried very hard to fall out of love with, and boom, she appears again, more beautiful than ever and you get sucked into it all over again.
I am Socially Awkward, even more
I was never a person to mingle a lot and be the light of the room, but I got along well. Today, when I visit a neighbor’s place or an old aunt’s house, the first instinct is to walk around the house and see if there is something to catch. It is not the right thing to want to see someone else’s house, just not. The fact that I have that urge makes me sad, and I inevitably ask the way to the balcony or the garden just to see if there is an opportunity. It has to lead to some really awkward conversations, especially when a 26 something-year-old male wants to catch cartoon characters.
Pushing the ends too hard
Tough to say it is a bad habit but I am a lot more severe on my phone. I could easily get by a day or so on my Nexus 6P without bothering with a charger. Today, I tend to carry with me a charger as well as an extra power bank just in case. Since the data services are not the best in India, the game that requires continuous pinging to GPS, as well as data connection, is quite a battery sucker. On average, I lose about 20% battery in 45 minutes of a one-way ride, and the first thing to do is to put the phone on charging. Not only does it mean I am carrying an extra set of cables but also that if by chance I have a long day, I have to be extra careful not to fall short on battery.
Pokemon Go is an addiction and I am sure many others out there, whose lifestyle the game has changed. Yes, sometimes for the good, but sometimes not for such a good cause also. As I promised, I am going to put this right and treat the game as what it is, that is a game. You have got to watch yourself and your surrounding so that you do no harm to others while having a good time yourself. No more. No more taking over my reading time or intruding into the privacy of people, oh wait, there is a Pikachu on the keyboard here.
This article has been contributed by Arpit Verma, an evangelist of Pricebaba.com