Within a couple days of launch, the mobile app Pokémon Go had built a player base numbering in the tens of millions.
The media quickly turned on the fear machine, cranking out numerous stories designed to scare parents and drive ratings.
Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.
Needless to say, within the now 100 million+ players, there are a handful of idiots. The question is, why must the media machine turn every possible positive story into a hurricane of fear and worrying?
After all, the fact that a small company like Niantic was able to surpass Twitter in active users in a couple weeks is miraculous. The fact that millions of overweight teens and young adults (myself included) have taken to walking hundreds of miles is about as feel-good as you can get.
Yes, there are obviously cases in play here where folks are behaving badly. Arrests also happen at nearly every major concert or sporting event in the nation, but the media seldom bombards us with stories about every DUI pickup related to music.
It’s because this is new, and new provides the media an opportunity to create fear.
Oh Wait, Don’t Be Afraid.
Never mind the Pokémon Go players who helped the cops nab a man with an outstanding warrant for attempted murder. That story’s viral reach was limited compared to the Missouri robbers.
Focus on the fear, media, because there are ads to sell.