Poking The Pokemon Go Phenomenon

Poke The Pokemon Go - Harness Digital Marketing - Tom Harness

Poking The Pokemon Go Phenomenon

Are you an Antagonist, a Comedian, or a Sidekick on Social Media Comments?

Recently I did one of my social media experiments on Facebook that dealt with the Pokemon Go phenomenon. Let me first preface that I do these experiments to prove a point and to gather information on how facebook’s algorithm weighs the content we post. If anyone truly knows me, I am the last person on Earth that would tell another person what to do. Yes, I am personally not a fan of Pokemon Go, but if something brings you joy and happiness, who the hell am I to tell you otherwise.

If you read my initial post (See Above), there really isn’t anything mind blowing about it, but I did make a comment on a topic that was highly trending and got a lot of engagement on all social media platforms – Pokemon Go. That’s how I baited my participants to begin posting comments. Here are my results and you can pretty much substitute any topic (guns, black lives matter, Trump, Hillary, etc…) that stirs emotion and reactions.


3 Types of People Posting Content

  1. The Antagonist – This person isn’t alway trying to be difficult they simply have an emotional attachment to the content and it means something personally or deeply to them. In this instance I had some great examples by people that felt I was a little harsh on my post and choice of words. This was by design. Each person came back with personal life experiences that allowed them to overcome something (social interaction).

Pokemon Go - Jim Olsen - Harness Digital Marketing

Jim is a personal friend and if you notice, he is pretty worked up about  my comments and replies. However, he ends with a little personal anecdote that lets me know he isn’t completely pissed off at me (iSmile). Jim, FYI, you can do whatever you want, I am definitely not going to judge you. Hell, I’m the crazy guy that wears suits and has a Chicago Cubs / Tardis T-shirt.

Pokemon Go - Trish Argumaniz - Harness Digital Marketing

My cousin Trish gives a great example of a mom and teacher’s perspective on this. Just how many of our Facebook friends do we actually know and where their views and attitudes come from? I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know everyone, but in knowing that, I give them the benefit of the doubt. I try not to jump to conclusions. Basically, I listen to their posts and try not to react.

Pokemon Go - Kevin Hunsperger - Harness Digital Marketing

And then there is Kevin Hunsperger. He starts out this post with, “I will respectfully agree to disagree with you on this.” Kevin and I hardly ever disagree, but I thought it would be interesting to see if we did. His background as a news reporter and anchor at WSIL allows him to come up with a response that allows him to make his point, but not jeopardize his personal branding.

2. The Comedian – This may start to sound like the people posting online are more like High School Students (It’s OK if you do), but there are some stark comparisons (iSmile). These people use humor to deflect intense comments and try to bring people back to their happy place. Unfortunately, a lot of times these individuals are accused of being empathetic.

Pokemon Go - Jennifer Gutierrez - Harness Digital Marketing

What can you say about Jennifer’s meme? It’s funny.

Pokemon Go - Tracy Estes - Harness Digital Marketing

Out of all the responses, this one is probably the one that could be the most controversial, but if you know Tracy, it is far from the truth (But you have to know him). Whether it is Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, or Pokemon Lives Matter, there is A LOT of emotion that goes with saying or stating them. Should we hold back from parodying them, NO. Saturday Night Live does it, Jimmy Fallon does it, and we all know John Stewart was the best at it. We can’t stop being who we are, but we do have to do one thing: OWN WHAT WE SAY.

Pokemon Go - Kathi - Harness Digital Marketing

And sometimes you just have a Facebook friend that posts that uncomfortable image that you know you shouldn’t laugh at, but you do. Thanks Kathi. She posted this directly on my timeline and not in this thread, but she did participate in it. I have a theory that she knew me well enough to know I would appreciate this, but wasn’t sure if the people in the thread would appreciate it.

3. The Sidekick – These people agree with you, help you prove your point, and typically defend you in your posts. This group is also the ones that walk the line when posting (I agree with you but…) I don’t want to make these people sound like sheep, but it might be difficult for them to express their true thoughts because they don’t want people to be mad at them, or  they just see everyone’s viewpoint.

Pokemon Go - Matt Johnston - Harness Digital Marketing

Matt agreed with me and when I tried to POKE it more, he just left it alone.

Pokemon Go - Michelle Bigham - Harness Digital Marketing

You know someone agrees with you when they use 8 exclamation points! iSmile

Pokemon Go - Shawna Williams - Harness Digital Marketing

Shawna didn’t necessarily agree with me, however she brought up some valid concerns (ones I too have) that got the other participants in the thread thinking. Thanks Shawna.


Pokemon Go - Emily Michelle - Harness Digital Marketing

Emily had my favorite response. She didn’t take a stance, but clearly stated an opinion with her own personal experience. She was articulate, non-confrontational, and made great points that were outside of the scope that everyone was talking about, “exercise.”


We have forgotten that Social Media isn’t the best way to communicate, it’s one of many ways that we can use to express ourselves. Much like Art, writing a book, singing, and many other mediums, it is left to interpretation by the recipient. If you go back through my Facebook post, you will clearly see that many of the people went in and out of being an Antagonist, Comedian, or Sidekick. We are not one conscious thought of expression. We are HUMAN and we make mistakes, change our minds, and change our views. We need to take Social Media as an opportunity to have discussions. That is what it was initially intended for. So, next time you go on a social media and disagree with someone, take it as an opportunity to have an open and honest discussion, NOT A REACTION.


Tom Harness | Snapchat: tharness | Twitter: iTomHarness | tom@harnessdigitalmarketing.com

About Tom Harness

Tom Harness is the owner of Harness Digital Marketing, a digital marketing firm that works with businesses and organizations on Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with 20 years of combined experience in Education, IT, and Business. Tom is a U.S. Army Veteran and a Southern Illinois University alum. He also enjoys craft beers, his beloved Chicago Cubs, and his family.


  1. Tim Nation says

    Excellent read.

    • Thanks Tim. Which one of the categories do you fall in?

      • I don’t think I fall in any of the categories. Never played Pokemon and my son dabbled in it for about 2 days…15 years ago! However, my first thought was: Tom must be having a bad day because he just pissed off a lot of people! So I got my popcorn and followed along.

        I should have realized it was an experiment. I guess you missed a category: Social Media Rubbernecking. (You can use that one for free)

        • The article wasn’t really about Pokemon Go. It was how people fall into categories when they post comments on line. I think I will safely say you are an Antagonist. Thanks for reading our blogs.

          • You’re right. I lost focus of the topic. I went back and read the Antagonist description thinking to myself that I rarely comment or post anything. But you are right – emotionally charged response. Thanks for the insight.

  2. I just found out about Pokemon Go yesterday–half my techs play it and the other half refuse to play it. (I fall into the latter camp–the last thing I need is another addictive time-suck!) Your assessment of the types of responders to posts is spot-on.

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