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Pokémon GO Isn’t Destroying Society, It’s Bringing People Together

Pokémon GO Isn’t Destroying Society, It’s Bringing People Together

Pokémon GO has quickly become the staple of mobile gaming. It’s brought together gamers of all ages, from as young as seven years old to as old as sixty. I’ve seen parents playing it with their kids and grandparents playing it to feel like they’ve still got it. However, Pokémon GO has also gotten a bad rap with all the negative news surrounding it. I’m here to tell you Pokémon GO isn’t destroying society, as the media would allegedly have you believe — it’s bringing people together!

Pokémon Go is Bringing Life Back to Cities

I occasionally go into the downtown area of my city. I don’t go very often because it’s usually boring and not many people are out walking around (except the teenagers). The past two weeks, however, I went downtown both Friday nights in a row. Why? To play Pokémon GO, of course! Here’s what’s so special about it: It was packed! There were people playing everywhere. You couldn’t turn a street corner without hearing, “Oh, look, a Mankey!”

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One guy I met was particularly awesome. He was walking around the square wearing a Pokémon t-shirt, blasting Pokémon theme music everywhere he walked. I asked him his story and, apparently, he comes downtown every night now rather than staying in his apartment because he loves Pokémon and everyone stops him to talk to him. He’s met dozens, if not hundreds, of people just by being a little different and playing a game he loves. Here’s the real kicker: he lost 15 pounds because he was walking around so much! And he isn’t alone — people all over the world are leaving their apartments, making friends, and losing weight, all thanks to Pokémon.

In Fact, Pokémon Go is Fighting Depression

In fact, this game is fighting depression. All the walking around and exercise helps by itself, but the social aspect is a totally different game changer. It’s backed by science and the players themselves.

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Reddit user Forexal posted on the Pokémon GO subreddit about how the game helped his severe depression:

“I’m a twenty three year old in Australia with some serious problems with mental health, which translates to not caring about anything at all…I don’t look for sympathy, as I find that to be a weak quality in someone but… for a while I’ve been incredibly weak, so weak that my three goals each day are starving myself, regret and trying not to think about suicide. When I’m out in public the few times I am, I put on a happy face to let everyone know I’m ok but in reality, I just wanted to die.

NOW, Pokemon GO releases on the 6th of July in Australia and a friend of mine tells me to give it a go because I’m such an avid pokemon fan, so I go finally buy some phone credit and download the app…

In the past 4 days, I have walked over 50km, I’ve met some cool people, I didn’t cry once, I’ve gotten rid of some semi-permanent artist block and photoshopped some things, I got a date with a girl for Saturday and I walked into a bar and got an interview for Monday.”

If this game is able to change lives to such an extreme extent, how can anyone say it’s “destroying society”? Yes, there are some stupid people doing stupid things. Yes, it can be played too much and affect other parts of people’s lives.

However, stupid people doing stupid things is nothing new. Anyone with half a brain will look before they cross the road or think twice before breaking into a church. The people doing these things would have done them anyway with some other reason as an excuse. Just use your head, play smart, and don’t play it too much. You’ll probably find some friends and get some great exercise while you play!

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Featured photo credit: Chicago Tribune via trbimg.com

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Bill Widmer

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Last Updated on October 5, 2020

How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

We are given life with many opportunities to make it everything we want it to be and more. If you find that you’ve slipped into living a boring life, it’s time to take a hard look at what you’ve been doing and what you can start doing now to make it more interesting.

Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing and living the same life for too long, or maybe your daily routine is limiting your growth and happiness. Whatever your reason is, the following list can definitely make any day or life more interesting. Some of them are silly, while some are more meaningful, so hopefully just reading the list makes your life less boring and sparks your creativity.

Let’s dive in the list to quit your boring life and start living an interesting (and meaningful) one!

1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self

Imagine being a young child. Life was never boring, was it? That’s because children harness every ounce of creativity they have in order to try new things.

What would your 7-year-old self want to do in this moment? Maybe they’d pick up a paintbrush and try to paint the landscape around them. May they would go outside and build something with random materials around the yard. Maybe they would raid the fridge and put together a dish they’ve never seen before.

Just because you’re a grown-up doesn’t mean any of this stuff will be less enjoyable than you remember it. Give yourself permission to play and use your creativity to its fullest.

2. Go Play With Kids

Speaking of little kids, if you have your own (or a niece or nephew), go play with them!

Kids are absolutely hilarious, so it’s simply impossible to be bored when you’re around them. They also keep things so simple, and we can really stand to be reminded of this and stop allowing ourselves to get bogged down in boring details.

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3. Play Cell Phone Roulette

You’ll need at least one buddy for this, but this is a great way to avoid a boring life. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one, and (if it feels right) call the person.

You could spark an incredible catch-up session or, at the very least, remind someone that you’re thinking of them. Neither are boring.

4. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards

This is a great part of a gratitude practice. We often forget to thank the people who do things for us, especially if we have come to expect those things. For example, have you ever thought about thanking your mom for that weekly phone call? Or thanking your sister for always sending you a homemade gift on your birthday?

Take time to think of at least 5 people you would like to say thank you to and write out a card. You could even write them out for random people in your neighborhood, like the local librarian, a teacher at your child’s school, or the accountant at your bank.

Anyone and everyone appreciates being thanked for their efforts.

5. Sign up for a Class

Nowadays, there are classes for everything. To make it as interesting as possible, try finding one that you wouldn’t normally consider doing, like salsa lessons, improv, or boxing.

Otherwise, try to find a course on something you’ve always wanted to learn, like pottery, photography, or a foreign language course.

What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people, which will add even more interest to your life!

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6. Talk to Your Grandparents About Their Lives

We often underestimate how interesting the elderly are. You can rest assured that any elderly person you talk to will not have had a boring life! Take some time to talk to them and hear their interesting stories. You may even find that this motivates you to go out and find your own interesting experiences.

7. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night

Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage. If you’re not into comedy, find an open mic that focuses on reading poetry or short stories and bring your own. These groups tend to be incredibly supportive for anyone who is willing to be brave enough to get up and try.

8. Do Something for Someone Else

Showing kindness automatically makes you feel good, but doing these small acts will also help to ensure that you don’t have a boring life. Try doing one or two things each week that are outside your normal routine.

For example, you could make a batch of cookies for the mailperson or help your elderly neighbor organize one of their rooms. There are a million ways to show kindness to those around you. Tap into your creativity and find your own or use some of the ideas from the image below[1].

Do random acts of kindness to avoid living a boring life.

    9. Start a DIY Project in Your Home

    If you have your own place, there is always a project that needs to get done. Many people simply pay for someone else to do it in order to avoid the hassle, but taking on a DIY project can make a boring life much more interesting.

    It doesn’t have to be super complicated. Maybe you repaint an old vase or build a spice shelf out of used pallets.

    If you need ideas, you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.

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    10. Plan a Weekend Trip or an All-Out Vacation

    This will give you something to look forward to. One study actually found that most travelers are happiest before a vacation[2]. Therefore, simply planning a trip will boost your mood, even if you can’t actually take the vacation right now.

    Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a vacation, plan for a staycation, which is also fun and relaxing!

    11. Go People Watching

    Find a bench in a crowded area (centers of transportation like airports, bus stops, and train stations are great for this!) and just observe[3].

    People are infinitely interesting. Try to imagine what their lives are like, what they’re thinking, or where they’re going. You’ll never know if you’re right, but it will give you something to focus on and also help you practice empathy.

    12. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before

    You can try that new Moroccan restaurant down the street and pick the most interesting dish on the menu. Or, you can raid your own fridge and throw together a dish you’ve never made before.

    If you’re up for a trip to the grocery store, try picking up a new fruit or veggie from the produce section. You may find a new food that you love!

    13. Dance

    You can get your friends together for a night on the town or just pull up a video on YouTube and bust a move from your own living room.

    If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even dance in public or join a flash mob.

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    14. Pick up a Book and Start Reading

    Reading a good book can keep you occupied for hours. It will also transport you to a life that isn’t your own, and one that likely will be the opposite of a boring life. You’ll be amazed by what you can learn from those pages.

    Pick on of these inspirational books to start reading: 10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

    15. Spend Some Time With People You Care About

    Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or bring a coffee over to your parent’s place and catch up. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and you’ll avoid boredom.

    16. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to

    Some people are bored by museums, so if that’s you, skip to the next one. However, if you love art, history, or culture, this one is for you!

    17. Write a List of Things You Desire and Truly Want

    This is a great way to help you figure out the real reason why you’re feeling bored about your life. Maybe you haven’t really done things that you truly enjoy? Maybe what you’ve wanted to do all the time has been left behind?

    Think about the list of things you really want to do, and ask yourself why you aren’t doing these things (yet). Then, start taking your first step to make it happen.

    Now, go make your life interesting and live your dream life!

    More on How to Quit a Boring Life

    Featured photo credit: Alex Alvarez via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] FECAVA: Random Acts of Kindness
    [2] Applied Research in Quality of Life: Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday
    [3] Psychology Today: The Expert’s Guide to People Watching

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