Now hear me out everyone. I'm not going to rant about Niantic, Nintendo or anything else about the game developers or politics. I'm quite happy with the game and very glad that the developers are working so hard to get this going. Kudos to them! 

Many people see Pokemon go as just another way for our generation to be mindless and attached to our phones. But what those people don't understand is the amount of motivation it has given people, including myself, to go out, explore their city (or province), meet people, and most importantly, exercise. 

Summers are usually tough for me: I'm a teacher. I get 2 months off. But for the past 2 years I've been a teacher, I haven't had a contract to prepare for at the end of summer. I was a substitute teacher my first year, and my second year I already had all the resources I needed between my final practicum, the resources my school had, and anything other teachers had helped me with. This summer, I don't have a contract lined up come September, and as a substitute teacher, you don't need to plan anything. Everyone says "summers off, that must be nice", but in reality, you're just picking up where you left off last summer: cleaning the house, any reading or projects you want to get done, all busy work. Some of us get to take vacations (I had my honeymoon, so that counts), but past that I don't have any projects, cleaning is usually under control (hey, it's my summer! I don't have to clean every day), and my husband works during the day. We have no kids so I don't have to worry about that either. So what do I do?

I get bored easily. I can't "binge" watch a tv series even if I'm really into it, I can't read for more than a few hours or else I fall asleep in my book. But, Pokemon go has given me an outlet for my boredom. I'm a part of the Lethbridge Pokemon Go Facebook group which posts some of the good areas for certain Pokemon, where places will be lured, meet ups and more. Pokemon go has become the social experience I didn't think was possible. When I'm bored, I find the motivation to either go for a walk in my area (sadly, there are only 2 poke stops and to walk to them it takes about 3km round trip. Good for eggs I guess!) or hop in my car and drive to one of the places talked about and explore there. Not only have I caught some sweet Pokemon and gotten very excited, I've found new places around the city I love and I love it even more! I also have a bit of social anxiety, but with Pokemon Go I don't hesitate to ask people around me playing if they've found whatever Pokemon is on the radar, or what their best catch it. It's like a second childhood. 

So let's recap: Pokemon Go has...

  • Helped me get off my butt at home and go for 1-10 km walks. 
  • Helped me Find new, exciting and beautiful places in the city I live in and love.
  • Introduced me to new people and socialize.
  • Given my husband and I something to do and talk about.

    Overall, I don't think any of those things are bad. 

And now, just for fun, here are some of my prized Pokemon:

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Published by Margaret Geary-Merkl