Modern Manners in a Digital World: Pokémon GO: Catching a Break and Catching Safety

07/28/2016 05:08 pm ET Updated Aug 01, 2016

It’s been 22 days since the release and Pokémon GO has enraptured our nation. Since The Pokémon Company released their first ad in September 2015, the excitement began to build. And this month, the dream came true.

How can we go outside the private bubble of home to capture, befriend, and battle so many Pocket Monsters safely? In our connected fervor, we need to understand how to be respectful of property, take care of ourselves, and avoid harming others on our journey.

CATCHING A BREAK

1. Head Gear: If you haven’t realized it already, you’re actually exercising during your Pokémon GO Those Pokémon Eggs don’t come free. So when you’re outdoors, especially in the summer heat, take care of yourself and your children. The avatar is wearing headgear for goodness sake, so follow suit and shade everyone.

2. Hydration: Stay hydrated when you’re going for that 5km Egg. Bring water or a Yeti.

3. Recover: It’s also important to rest. Remember the Old Lady’s Rest Stop in the Hoenn region? It’s not possible to walk into a stranger’s house hoping for full room and board. However, with a rest at a local coffee shop or park bench in the shade, you may find a PokéStop.

Savin Weera

4. Cell Phone Battery: Check phone and battery health. Pokémon GO uses GPS, which is a battery drainer in addition to any apps running. Follow these steps to improve your battery life:

-Reduce your screen lighting so it is low enough to decrease battery drain, but high enough to provide adequate reading light without eye strain.

-Disable Wi-Fi and Disable Bluetooth. No need for BT until Pokémon GO Plus is released, currently scheduled for September 2016.

-Close any unnecessary apps in the background.

-Disable Augmented Reality (AR). Yes, it’s amazing to see a Pikachu right outside your office, but AR relies on your camera, which is as carnivorous as an awakened Snorlax.

CATCHING SAFETY

So now you’ve got a couple of ideas on how to keep your body and phone healthy, but have you considered your life? Bit extreme, yes, but staying alive is important during your journey.

5. When walking: Running into a Sudowoodo headfirst isn’t fun. Pay attention to your surroundings, your path and keep your eyes up. You can always activate the Vibrate option in the game’s Settings and keep have your finger on the screen as you walk down a trail. You’ll get the heads up on a Pokémon encounter, and you can still enjoy the scenery. Give your eyes a break.

Savin Weera

6. Be respectful: During your journey, be respectful of memorials, religious and burial sites. Act appropriately near police stations, hospitals, universities, and schools.
7. Don’t Bike & Catch: It’s dangerous for you and others. Map out a route to hit some PokéSpots along the way. You can also set up a Phone Mount on your bike so you can make sure the game is active. Concentrate on riding the bike – not catching Pokémon!

8. Don’t Drive & Catch: Dear Arceus, you crazy. Trying to do both simultaneously risks lives. Many jurisdictions prohibit driving while using a cell phone.

9. Fun Alternative: Grab some friends, toss them in the back of your truck, and cruise. Take turns driving, or the driver can give their phone to a friend and have him/her keep track.

10. Evening Search: If your addiction to Pokémon GO leads you to search in the evening, we understand. Go out with a group of friends; or be safe by traveling in a vehicle to prevent unfortunate incidents.

With these mannerly safety tips, you’re ready to head into the Augmented Reality of the Pokémon GO World. It’s your time to shine, to catch them all, and be the very best.

Sharon Schweitzer and Savin Weera co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural consultant, an international protocol expert and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. She is accredited in intercultural management, is the resident etiquette expert for CBS KEYE We Are Austin, popular on-air contributor, regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, Inc., The New York Times, The Vancouver Sun, and numerous other media. She is the best-selling, international award-winning author of Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, named to Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2015.

Savin Weera is a Summer Intern with Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. He is currently a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio studying for a B.A. in English with Concentrations in Professional and Creative Writing. Connect with Savin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/savinweera.

 

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