So everyone is obsessed with this new Pokémon game, and, after gauging the early potential way wrong, you’re already hopelessly out of touch with this newest mania. Maybe you lack the necessary nostalgia to find the conceit all that appealing, falling as you do right into a narrow age bracket that cared about the original game (television show? which one came first?) neither ironically nor enthusiastically, or maybe you’re still trying figure out what’s so funny about the obvious incongruity of putting one person’s face on a different person’s body.
Try embracing the simple joy of just opting out of this latest fad. Admittedly, that might be more just a default state if you aren’t exposed to a self-perpetuating cycle of Mad Libs-style Pokemon takes on the Internet and instead are busy with, well, anything else. (I’m sure it’s just a matter of news cycles before someone with a true life-or-death profession radically misjudges how game the world really is and tweets an ill-timed self-congratulatory screenshot, but for now let’s agree to blissfully that assume working doctors are abstaining.) Which is, essentially, the beauty of not caring about any given thing: it frees you up to care about something—anything—else.
If you’re smug about your abstention, you’re doing it wrong. Performative misnomers or avowed willful ignorance are their own forms of caring—and really obnoxious. Don’t opt out of Pokémon Go because it’s any more inane than any other enjoyable way to pass the time between necessary acts of self-sustenance. Do so because there are about 47 billion pages worth of information on the Internet and the non-virtual world is pretty interesting, too.
If you want to participate, there are plenty of sites looking to capitalize on the pressure of watercooler FOMO with handy primers that you should peruse earnestly if you so choose (and corresponding cautionary tales that are also worth a look). But if not, or if you’re just wondering if you should because you should, remember that there are no bonus points for being early in on either the game or the joke. It you’re generally content to dedicate your phone battery and mental energy to some other equally distracting pursuit that doesn’t have the same current cachet, that’s fine! It’s fine. And you get to engage in the ultimate bliss of doing nothing instead of doing something, too.
So sit back, and enjoy scrolling past the self-referential jokes and ominous finger-wagging from a safe distance. Don’t flagellate yourself as a technophobe Old, just notice how it all becomes less enticing the more out-of-touch you become, and briefly imagine seeing this disengagement out to its natural endpoint and going completely off the grid. I’ll get a job working with my hands and never have to feel guilty for Chewbacca mom fatigue ... Then open up several new tabs of carefully curated culture that intentionally target your own specific nostalgia and start the process of alienating anyone who isn’t up on the same virtual ephemera.
Or a book. There’s always a book. Anyway, the whole craze will probably be over by the time I finish writing this blog anyway.