Guys, I have to talk to you about something serious. I’m getting a little concerned. I gave you all a free pass on candy crush. I ignored my friends who changed the calendars on their IPhone back so they could cheat the system and get more lives. I didn’t murder the people who stood in the subway train doorways during morning rush hour, mindlessly slapping at their phone screens like prehistoric savages in a desperate attempt to connect the pieces of lollipop in a row. Or those who stopped dead in the flow of walking traffic eerily illuminated by the rainbow glow of their screen, casting upon them the shadow appearance of a digital Satan. I LET YOU MOTHERFUCKERS HAVE THAT ONE. But this Pokémon shit is getting out of fucking hand. Here’s a tip: If you need a PSA to tell you not to “Pokémon and drive,” you need to get in your car, press all the way down on the gas, and head straight for the Hudson River to find that rare water character deep down at the bottom. Are you people kidding me? We need an excuse to go outside? This is bringing people together? Let me think of reasons to go outside:
- It’s summer, in the greatest city in the world.
- We need Vitamin D to live.
- The Ice cream man is out there, driving around, waiting to make your day.
- THE WORLD IS SO MUCH LARGER THAN YOUR FUCKING SMARTPHONE.
I can’t believe we are in 2016 and this is a conversation. Do you know why we need a smartphone game to bring people to public parks? Because prior to this, “Netflix and chill” was the moniker for our generation. Do you know what caused that? WE DID. Because our social ineptitude is a direct result of the feelings of validation we seem to only be able to achieve if we are popular on the Internet. We are a generation of quick fixes and “I don’t want to work for anything but I want everything right now AND FOR FREE.” As a result of our demanding demeanors, we have truly forgotten what it means to put time or effort into anything. A picture posted to your perfectly curated social media site is immediate gratification that you are good enough, fun enough, beautiful enough. You get 100 likes so you must be cool. We stopped connecting with people the moment we popularized Tinder and OkCupid as a platform for acceptance. That’s why our moniker became “Netflix and Chill”. We spend so much time hiding behind a screen and becoming a character that when we finally do decide to communicate with another we must do so in social isolation, inside on a couch watching forty fucking episodes of reality television, so we don’t have to talk. We are a greedy beast whose hunger is never satiated. Our egos are far too large to get in the same room as another human, so we can only interact from a distance. That’s why we associate this game with friendship. Everyone is out doing the same thing, so that means I’m social, right? My friends all play the same game, so this counts as us hanging out, doesn’t it? It bums me out so hard that we can’t mentally connect with someone without the guise of technology, and that when some of us are in the presence of truly fantastic company, we retreat to our respective social media pages, group texts, or to catch a dragon with a fire tail in imagination land.
I don’t care about how many Jigglypuffs you need. I don’t care that you walked eight miles to find Pikachu, you fucking loser. Stop sitting outside of an imaginary Pokémon gym at three in the morning and go talk to people in person about something meaningful, there is a lot of shit going on in the world that should give us inspiration. Stop wasting all the time your parents spent giving you the tools to become a successful adult by clogging my news feed with screenshots of fictional creatures floating on the grass in Central Park. Get lost outside, hug your dog, tell your cat how superior they are to other animals and that’s why Egyptians worshipped them as gods. I don’t care what you do. Just realize this is not about being adults and standing on peoples’ lawns to catch creatures, it’s about how much our reliance on technology is dumbing us down with each passing fad. We are better than Pokémon, guys. There is a great big world out there just begging to be explored.