I’ve heard a lot of smack talk recently about how stupid it is for this younger generation to be out chasing Pokemon. Many adults are actually quite snobbish about it. It’s the same old shtick. Older people look down their noses at younger people because they think what they are doing is silly, childish, or ridiculous.
We adults would never do anything so immature as to play with something or engage in an activity that reminded us of our childhood…or would we?
Grown-up people love sports, games, and collecting old toys. Fantasy football is enormously popular. Men in their 60’s have entire basements dedicated to elaborate model train sets, and I know a middle-aged gentleman who loves to collect old Hot Wheels cars.
It’s actually a pretty cool hobby.
He has a very impressive collection, and he loves to post on Facebook when he runs across a really good one that he has been searching for. And I have to admit, seeing a vintage Barbie doll brings a wave of nostalgia over me that makes me want to jump on ebay and see what’s there.
So why collect toys, or Pokemon, for that matter?
The Hot Wheels collector is engaged in this hobby because, I suspect, the Hot Wheels cars remind him of fun, pleasant times during his childhood, a carefree little window of existence when he was learning and exploring the world around him.
What’s wrong with that? Nothing! People love to play. In fact, it is a very necessary and vital part of our human existence. According to Greg McKeown in the book Essentialism, we need desperately to have play and fun as part of our lives. It keeps us balanced, relieves stress, and readies us for the more difficult tasks life presents.
My millennial aged daughter and son-in-law love to go to the park together to walk around (i.e. get exercise) and look for Pokemon with their phones. It’s a fun activity for them after a long day at work, or after slaving over a master’s degree thesis. Down time is really what it’s about.
Yes, they are very responsible adults. They are both engineers with pretty impressive accomplishments under their belts. And they like to hunt Pokemon.
So what’s wrong with our latest generation of teens and young adults going out and hunting cute little imaginary characters with their smart phones?
Again, nothing. A lot of the young people who are out doing this activity grew up with Pokemon. Pokemon the TV show. Pokemon the video game. Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire.
When I was a kid, the popular TV shows were Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, H.R. Puffinstuff (Yes, my parents thought this was pretty silly) and Star Trek. No one would ever collect anything associated with these shows…..Wait…
I say whether you are playing fantasy football, are a huge Trekkie, or hunting Hot Wheels cars, Barbie dolls, and Pokemon, what’s the difference? There really is no difference when you cut to the core and examine WHY people are doing what they do.
Next time we big, mature, non-childish adults want to criticize or shame the younger generation for something they do or get excited about, let’s please stop and examine our own motives for what WE do first. Perhaps there is more common ground between the generations than we realize or want to admit.
The point of collecting toys is to have fun. Have adventures. Bring back some fond memories. Do something that makes you happy.
DO. PLAY. GO. EXPLORE. FIND. LAUGH. ENJOY!
These are the keys to having adventures in your life.
If older adults choose games, model trains, and old toys, then great! If teens and millennials choose Pokemon GO, then so be it. One thing that has always driven wedges between old people and young people is the propensity for one group to criticize the other group, thus widening that generational gap to the point of chasm-like proportions.
Let’s put a stop to it, shall we?
Let’s understand that people are just trying to enjoy their lives.
No shame in that.
Do you have an opinion about Pokemon GO and the people who are playing it? If so, scroll down and leave a comment in the section below. I would love to hear your take on it.