We have often taken a different parenting approach than most and here was a typical conversation in our house when the kids were young. Our kids were used to the statement, “We know a lot of people are doing it, but we would rather you didn’t”. Then we would get, “Why not? Everyone else is”. Our response, “Please just understand. While it may be fine if everyone else is, we are not comfortable with it”.
Since we started when they were very young, our opinion was respected. We often went into truthful explanations for the kids and we discussed the situation and our response openly and honestly and listened to them as well.
But, we also had non-negotiable and this Pokemon Craze would be one of those. Thank goodness when I asked the twins (20 year old city dwellers), I got this response.
This App is scary to me and here’s why:
- You can use it when driving as long as you are driving under 20 miles/hour. We have enough texting and driving issues and certainly don’t need another distraction.
- It is already causing injuries from people watching their screen and not watching where they are going. People are actually walking out into busy streets without looking. People have fallen in rivers, onto streets, and stumbled, because their face is buried in their phone. Even the NYPD has issued warnings to people.
- The version out now has access to all your google information, including giving itself permission to read your gmail and any google docs you have. They say this will be changed, but as of right now, it has not.
- The biggest concern, due to the GPS portion, is about other people getting your location. This has already led to people being lured to areas that are unsafe and into unsafe situations. This makes it a huge predator concern. In Missouri, people were accused of using the App to target people and three men were arrested for armed robbery.
- This is the beginning…It is all fun and games until someone gets seriously hurt or killed.
Please think twice before just downloading and playing and really, seriously, think about setting boundaries for your children, no matter what age. If my kids were interested in playing Pokemon, even at 20 years old, I would ask them to follow these simple cautionary steps…
- Always play with a group of friends that you know.
- Never be in the car with a driver or passenger playing.
- Do not play until the google update is fixed.
- Be safe over catching a Pokemon. Don’t go on somewhere that’s unauthorized, closed, or restricted.
- Be respectful of others. Pay attention to the people around you and acknowledge not everyone is playing Pokemon.
- And finally, if I had young kids, I would first play with them and second, set boundaries as to how they can play.
Sorry Pokemon and my fiends who play, but it just really, really scares this mom…