Oh, I’ll Go there.

Aren’t we all very judgey. And it’s all come to a head with Pokemon Go. You’ve all got an opinion on it, because everyone has an opinion on everything these days right off the bat, don’t bother thinking about the complexities of the issue or finding out anything further – I don’t like it, I’m afraid of it, I love it and you all suck for not loving it too. What’s wrong with you?

I have a theory. You’re hating things for one of two reasons. The first, you’re secretly worried you’ll like it. I realised that this was me on the Thermomix before I got one, I was trying to talk myself out of it by loudly snarking about it. I’m sure this applies to all of the Thermomix haters out there, and the joy that they’ve displayed when a few nongs have used theirs incorrectly and burnt themselves. “There!”, they say. “I was right to loudly deride people who bought them. They thought they’d be an amazingly useful thing to have in the kitchen, when it turns out that they’re really a spinning death machine. I was right all along not to really really want one. Idiots!”.  And when you think about it, this reason might also apply to some of the louder opponents of gay marriage. Just a theory. The second is that you’re afraid that this is it, this is the final thing that has signalled that the End of Days is upon us. This one applies to moral panic, and has been in evidence when Wimmin Got the Vote, TV will Ruin your Eyesight, Mobile Phones will give you Brain Cancer, Video Games will turn our Teens into Mass Murderers and Drug Addicts, and now it’s Pokemon Go. Moral panic is generally wielded by people who are vaguely uneasy about their lives and can’t be bothered sitting down and actually nutting out what is truly bothering them, so look for an external factor to blame. It’s easier if it’s new, though there’s some tried and true ones too: Young People These Days, Furriners, the Lizard People in Govmint. I can’t understand why people aren’t morally panicking about real issues like Rupert Murdoch.

Anyway, what people choose do do with their leisure time seems to attract an opinion from everyone, and I’ve noticed this because I have a lot of hobbies. And some seem to be socially smiled upon (knitting, baking, singing classical music) and some absolutely not (eating my body weight in sweets, Pokemon Go). Why is this? I’ve learned not to mention to people that I don’t watch TV, because that seems to be a really values laden thing to say. “Oh, I hardly watch it either, just the ABC, you know, and Downton Abbey, I don’t let the kids watch it”. I don’t care. I don’t watch it because I have a short attention span and I’m just generally not interested. Your kids don’t want to watch it because they have iView and YouTube. Why do you feel guilty about watching TV? Is it because when you were growing up it was the big moral panic of the day?

It’s been fascinating watching the moral panic about Pokemon Go. Paedophiles will use it to lure in children. They’ll end up having to turn away hordes of late teenagers too, and hasn’t anyone ever said this about playgrounds? Schools? People will crash into things. Yes, the occasional boofhead has, but your phone vibrates when there’s a Pokemon nearby, so you don’t have to watch it, and then you need to stop to catch it. Then you can tell everyone in the vicinity that there’s a Jigglypuff outside Old Man Jenkins’ house and watch the hordes descend. Jigglypuff is cute. You don’t compete for monsters, once you’ve found one, everyone can have a go at catching them in that spot too, which means that complete strangers are talking to each other. You can only play this game by walking around, as a result of this my kids have discovered that many of the local playgrounds have been upgraded since they were little and have had a ball trying out the new equipment.

The game will actually tell you how far you’ve walked. Thirty eight kilometres this week. How can that be a bad thing? Yes, it drains my phone battery, especially since my kids don’t have data on their phone so have to hotspot onto mine, it will last for about two hours. The data isn’t too bad, a two hour session with the three of us seems to be about 200 Meg. The Moose isn’t playing, because of his moral superiority he has a fifty dollar Nokia and is too proud to take out his iPad with us. Speaking of judgey.

So if you don’t want to play a game on your phone that makes you walk and talk to people in your community, then fine, don’t. But don’t look down your nose at people who do. And when you start looking down your nose at people for other things, food choices, parenting style, hobbies, take a good hard look at yourself. Is it really the hoof beats of the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Or are you just a tiny bit jealous?