Hey, at least kids are finally getting outside

We’re certainly living in the future. We don’t have flying cars yet, though cars that drive themselves are actually here. Few people have them, but just about everyone has a smart phone. And that’s finally getting people outside.

I’m surprised it took until now for a smart phone app to get people to get off the couch and get outside. There have been a few apps that reward people for “checking in” at various locations, but most of those places tend to be indoors.

But a few weeks ago, the Pokemon Go app was released. It was an instant hit. Millions of people immediately downloaded the app and started playing. There have been a few horror stories of people walking into traffic while staring at their phones, trying to get to the next Pokemon goal, or walking off a cliff over the ocean, because they weren’t paying attention to the actual world. But for the most part, I think the Pokemon Go app is a good thing.

It’s getting people to get out of the house and into the real world. Sure, some of them are still paying more attention to their phones than to the world around them, but it’s a step in the right direction. At least they’re getting outside.

If you’re not familiar with Pokemon Go, it’s vaguely similar to Geocaching. If you’re not familiar with Geocaching, I guess I better explain that, too. Geocaching is a game played with a GPS receiver – or a map and compass, if you’re really good at orienteering. In Geocaching, you find clues that will lead you to a location, generally from Geocaching.com on the internet. If you find the location, there is usually an ammo box or a Rubbermaid container with little trinkets in it. The idea is you take something out of the box and put something equally useless in. It’s fun, educational, and it’s a good excuse to get outside and play with your GPS.

Pokemon Go is similar, but there is no box of treasures. When you find the Pokemon, your phone adds it to your virtual inventory.

Just keep your eyes open to the world around you if you play.