Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Kids, phones and Pokemon: Goes around, comes around

I'm pretty much resigned to drivers with their heads down, staring at their phones, as I sit behind them and do a slow boil after the light changes to green.

Distracted drivers are nothing new. That's why I pretty much steered clear a few weeks ago on the way home as I traversed Springfield Road and got behind a guy in a new BMW who consistently had his head buried in his phone. You guessed it - just before Brookside in Springfield traffic came to a stop at the intersection and he slammed right into the car in front of him. Luckily, it didn't involve any injuries.

And I am now used to being treated to the latest gossip or other mundane conversation from people who insist on carrying on a conversation while standing in line at the Wawa, or as they traverse the supermarket.

But now things are getting out of control.

Last weekend I noticed a weird thing in my neighborhood. Every kid I saw, usually traveling in groups, had their head down, buried in their ubiquitous phones. To be honest, this is not all that unusual. Kids and phones are not pretty much joined at the hip. But this seemed somehow different. They were traveling in groups, and they were ALL doing something on their phones.

That's when I came across a story online that served as not only a blast from the past, but a reminder once again that everything that is old will be new again.

I can only hope the same stands for curmudgeonly old newspaper editors.

The kids were all playing something called Pokemon G. It's the latest app for your phone and it plays off the Pokemon craze from a couple of decades ago. My kids both loved Pokemon. Of course, this was long before every kid simply had to be armed with a cell phone or be considered totally "uncool."

I guess a Flintstones lunch box just doesn't get the job done anymore.

The updated version of Pokemon G uses the GPS device on phones to let players track down monsters wherever they happen to be. That just might include your back yard, in case you don't own a fence. And maybe even if you do. Police are noting that Pokemon G players are winding up in places they're not supposed to be.

So now you know what all those kids are doing with their faces buried in their phones.

I just wish they would look up once in awhile before stepping out into traffic.

When I was a kid, we played 'Army.'

We terrorized the countryside hunting each other down with our pretend rifles.

Time changes. So does the technology.

I don't think kids play 'Army' anymore.

But they do apparently play 'hide and seek.' It's just an updated version. Using their cell phone.

I don't suppose reading a book or the newspaper is going to pry them away.

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