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No Love for the Haters: Pokemon Go, Crossfit, and Sir Francis Bacon

I took the boot camp class out to the park on Tuesday evening to get some fresh air and, quite frankly, to stage some great photos with the water tower and the Columbus skyline. It was fun, and we had a great workout. But there was something new in the park that I wasn’t expecting…

It was the first time I saw these creatures in the wild…hunting their prey with an eager, even salacious ferocity that both fascinated and scared me. I am of course talking about the people, young and old, collecting Pokemon out in the Audubon park.

I watched a four year old girl take a gainer into the sidewalk while running with an iPhone, staring at the screen. I got angry because, well, she’s probably too damn young to be doing such things in the first place.

I watched a group of 4 grown men walk from the parking lot near the climbing wall over the bridge all while looking at their phones in front of their faces, not saying a word to one another.

I’ve read and seen all the comments and memes on the Facebook:

“As if we didn’t already look at our phones enough already.” Valid

“I’m a grown ass adult, and I can’t be bothered with this shit.” Valid

“Do these people even notice the beautiful park they’re in.” Valid - (PS - this was me saying that)


I haven’t played, I haven’t seen the app, I know quite literally nothing about it. (Side note: I was just informed that one of them is called “Squirtle”…that’s a joke, right?). I want to really hate it. I want to tell you all the reasons why I think it’s wrong and stupid (and I will cover a few of those), but let me first acknowledge this fact: we are a society that really gets our rocks off on hating what other people love.

And hey, guess what? If you Crossfit, you know this first hand. People who have no experience with it love to hate everything about Crossfit. You’ve probably defended Crossfit to at least one or two of your friends, you know, the ones who told you you’d probably get Rhabdo in your first week or that Crossfit is too “dangerous” for you.

I’m intrigued by what it is that turns us into “haters,” a phrase, which by the way, was coined by Mr. Will Smith himself. Here’s some Sir Francis Bacon to break it down:

“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects or despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects, prejudging the matter to a great and pernicious extent in order that its former conclusions may remain inviolate.”

In other words, haters search out and find faults easily. You can bet money on the fact that if something becomes really popular and mainstream very quickly, the backlash will follow almost immediately.

I think it’s fantastic that Pokemon Go is introducing inactive folks to the glories of getting outside and getting exercise. Perhaps it’s not a perfect situation: I’d rather they look at their surroundings instead of a screen, but it’s something. Better than sitting on the couch staring at a screen (your TV) while constantly scrolling another screen (your phone). Which, BTW, I love doing.

Augmented reality games are going to be huge soon. Pokemon Go has paved the way already. Someday we’ll all be WODing next to a hologram version of Rich Froning or Brooke Ence, collecting some kind of “WOD” points that we can cash in for Kill Cliff and Perfect Bars (note to self: contact some kind of gaming company about this exact idea because it’s going to make me freakin rich).

So why do we hate on what people love? I guess the easiest answer is because we like to be right. My way is the best way, my things are the coolest things, and my hobbies are way more fun. We’re biased to our own likes. Which, duh. But what is it that makes us tear down others? I looked into some psychology research articles about it, and no one seems to be able to pinpoint what “causes” us to hate. I’m disappointed that my initial reaction was to hate on something that people are enjoying. I’ve got my issues with it, but I’ve got my things that other people hate on too. Let’s just encourage each other’s good behaviors, okay? And frankly, whatever brings us together in this very scary time of ours is something that should be celebrated.

Empathy, acceptance, tolerance: collect them all.

Also, I turned my head into a piece of toast the other day using a Snapchat filter so I guess I can’t judge.