Five reasons why I stopped playing Pokemon Go
In a previous post, I wrote about the ‘Eight life lessons learnt from playing Pokemon Go‘. I said that Pokemon Go is not merely about flipping balls at virtual objects, but rather, it is a game of strategy and productivity.
Yesterday, I transferred away my 600+ XP Exeggcute by accident. I had utilised my Lucky Egg, and was attempting to evolve as many Pokemon to maximise the number of XP I could have gained from the evolution process (it’s double with a Lucky Egg). Netflix’s Chef’s Table was running in the background, and as it zoomed in to an exquisite French-Cantonese fusion dish, I transferred my dear Exeggcute, possibly because I was too used to transferring Pokemon away.
I was devastated. It took me a while to recover from the shock of it all, before proceeding to evolve more Pidgeys. But alas! My long-awaited Exeggutor was now gone. My heart sank. I was aghast, despite the number of Ghastly candies I had accumulated. I could go on no longer. This was when I felt a strong desire to shed a couple of dollars in real cash to buy a few more Lucky Eggs.Colleague W sent me a consolatory text, saying that he caught a 790XP Exeggcute before and it evolved into a 2100XP Exeggutor. But I was beyond consolation. Just today, after catching a few more Drowzees while shopping at Giordano, I made a decision to delete the Pokemon Go app. And I did. And here are the five reasons why I stopped playing Pokemon Go:
1. I was becoming obsessed
My disappointment with the transfer of my Exeggcute was real. The initial sinking feeling was as if my investments had fallen in value by 20% (trust me, I had experienced that before). I felt a sense of loss, which is pretty scary, given that my emotions were being determined by the loss of a virtual object.
2. I was no longer reading as voraciously or relaxing properly
On long bus and train rides, I used to open Ebooks on my phone, and delve into them with a hunger and thirst for knowledge. But for the last three months, I’ve ploughed in that time into flipping balls and Pokestops. Train rides were usually to me, the best time for zoning out. With earphones plugged in, the mind is finally put at rest by staring aimlessly at the shoes of others, or simply, peeping into the smartphone screens of others, and judging their phone activity. Needless to say, I’ve been judged too when I opened that Pokemon Go app many a time. Which brings me to the next point.
3. I had stopped dreaming
Through these three months, I had not been productive on the blogging front. I had written many great blog pieces in the past, but perhaps due to fatigue and Pokemon Go, I just couldn’t etch out a good piece. I couldn’t think of the words which could form beautiful sentences. It felt that I was caught it this cycle of ‘work’, ‘home’ and ‘Pokemon on the way home’, and my brain just couldn’t think of the things that had moved me in the past, things like travelling, swerving through chaotic streets while avoiding people and animals, or sipping a steaming cup of chai on a cold winter’s day.
I had stopped dreaming.
4. My behaviour was controlled by a game
During the past three months, I have planned my weekend activities according to Pokemon Go. I’ve visited Marina Bay Sands as part of a Pokedate. I also ran to Punggol Park so that I could visit the famous Hougang Avenue 10, where the famed triple Poke Stops were. I had ran to Punggol Waterway in a bid to hatch as many eggs as possible. My behaviour, while productive, was being controlled by a game.
5. I want to live in the present
The walk to office each morning from the train station may not be the most beautiful of all walks. But with Spotify in my ear, I will be prepared to face each day. And each evening at dusk, in the midst of the setting sun, or a velvety pitch black sky, I will trot on home with a soothing song in my ear and nothing else.
The Investing Squid’s Take
Deleting the Pokemon Go app could be perceived to be a draconian measure for some. And I recognise that there are some who are able to be casual players. Those who would be able to click on the app only in the presence of friends. But I’m not that kind of person. Having the app on my phone would cause me to be tempted, and soon, I’ll be catching all the Pidgeys out there and flipping all the Pokestops around me.
So Pokemon Go, like a failed lover, it’s time for you to go. You’ve kept me entertained, no doubt. But I think I can grow into a better person without you around. Farewell.
I leave you with The Brinks’ Temporary Love, as there’s no better song to describe this episode.