"Pokémon-Go": A Catalyst For Sentimental Socialization

"Pokémon-Go": A Catalyst For Sentimental Socialization

Thanks, Pikachu, for teaching us how to talk to people in person again.
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When everyone first heard about Pokémon-Go, our inner child-like spirits squealed with joy. The thought of living our childhood dreams vicariously through our smartphones didn't even seem realistic at first. However, once I decided to give the app a try, I totally understood the hype, considering I only really watched the show on and off when I was younger.

Despite initial confusion on the little quirks of the game, I picked up the concepts quite easily. I walked around my neighborhood all by my lonesome in an attempt to catch them all, only to run into neighbors and former high school classmates playing the game as well. It summons a sense of nostalgia for many millennials, resulting in a large number of players throughout the nation (and the world).

About a day or two later, a few friends and I decided to go on a nature walk at one of the local parks. However, considering that we are so dependent on our mobile devices, we eventually figure out who in the group is playing Pokémon. We look up from our screens to see people bolting from various locations within the area scavenging for the various creatures in their own personal virtual reality.

As we continue to explore the area, we begin talking to other players and share mutual excitement over our accomplishments and findings. People, particularly older generations, always say that technology will be the death of interpersonal social interaction, but Pokémon-Go may have disproved that statement.

I like to believe that people will connect from this game and build lasting relationships because of its sentimental character and charm. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I chatted with total strangers in the park, if at all.

I think sometimes our generation forgets that you can meet people in person, too. It's not all online. However, due to the technological mindset of today's people, personal interactions are often inspired by what we do on our smartphones. People typically rely on the Internet to inform them of current events and everything that is happening in the world. We live our lives so attached to what's going on at our fingertips (or should I say thumbs?), that we forget that nothing will ever beat spontaneous face-to-face interaction.

I believe that we will continue to Snapchat and FaceTime all day long, and maybe we just crave to hear the sound of someone's voice over the phone every so often, but perhaps this game could encourage and reinforce the idea of relationships built off of initially meeting in person.

While some people may take it to an extreme and risk their lives in the process, Pokémon-Go has a number of qualities that make it such a worthwhile addition to your smartphone's app inventory.

Thank you, Pokémon-Go, for reminding people that it's okay to go out into the real world and interact with each other, too.

Cover Image Credit: Activist Post

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Just Like Any Other Toxic Relationship, It's Time To Breakup With Your Phone

Our phones are our individual prisons and you need to free yourself.

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Cell phones. Ever wonder why they're called "cellular devices?" Well, the suffix "ular" means "relating to," or "resembling." And "cell," well, the first thing you think is a prison cell! So, cellular devices resemble a prison. We trap ourselves in them. We go behind the gate, close and lock the door, and throw away the key. We place our full identity in what we put on social media. We waste precious time scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We send memes instead of talking to someone face-to-face. We Snapchat the people right beside us, instead of just talking to them.

You know when you're in a toxic relationship, everyone tells you to break up with that person. They're bad for you. They only hurt you. You're better than that. Our relationship with our phone is like that too. So, break up with your phone! You don't need that negativity, that comparison, or that judgment.

I'm a teenager. I'm supposed to be the one attached to my phone, right? Well, I'm the "odd" one who actually wants to see your eyes and not have our phones around when we talk. I hate how it's so accepted, and encouraged, to neglect the necessity of human, face-to-face conversations with words coming out of our mouths. Our thumbs move faster, and more frequently, than our mouths do anymore.

I wish there was a national day where all electronics were forbidden, making you go an entire 24 hours without them.

Eventually, after you go through withdrawal, you would come to love the world you so often ignore. I promise. This January, I took the whole month away from social media. Even taking away that part of phone use was eye-opening. The sky is pretty, the birds sing, people actually dress up. There's also this thing called the outdoors — it's really cool! I don't know, I'm just glad that I haven't caught the millennial-bug. It's contagious, so beware.

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