Pocket Points offers benefits to students


Alex Fortuna

A student activates the Pocket Points app. The app is free to download and gives individuals incentives to be on their phone less through coupons.

Story by Jenna Black, Managing Editor

Professors constantly remind students to put phones away during class in order to pay attention and not have the distraction of a phone buzzing keep them from learning. Now there is a reward if you decide to put your phone aside and push away the distractions that come with it. The mobile app, Pocket Points, incentives staying off your phone while on campus with discounts at local and online businesses.

The app uses geo-fencing, GPS that creates a virtual boundary on a mobile device, to sense when a student is on campus and enables the user to earn points by refraining from being on their phone while within the geo-fenced area. Users are also able to collect points while driving to discourage texting while driving.

Though Pocket Points entered the app store more than four years ago, it has taken Baker University by storm this semester. Senior Jenna Sackman is one of the many students that have downloaded the app. Sackman is Baker’s all-time leader in pocket points with 46,426 points and has reached level 32 (as of Oct. 3).

Junior Greg Flores is one student that has not downloaded the popular app.

“I feel like it would be a waste of space of my phone and I’m not that big into trendy things,” said Flores.

Sackman says that her competitive drive and self-awareness of being present in conversations is what attributes to her Pocket Points success. Sackman believes that electronics can hinder relationships between people and prefers face-to-face interactions rather via phone. Another benefit of the app is the discounts and coupons that come as you collect points.

“I’m all about free stuff,” Sackman said. She agrees that the discounts motivate her to keep using the app. She has used discounts on local places such as Fuzzy’s Tacos, Z’s Divine Espresso and plans on using her Goodcents discount soon.

While the rewards that come with Pocket Points are a nice feature, the app does more than just offer discounts to students. Pocket Points encourages students to be more present, not only while in class, but while driving and within everyday conversations. As technology becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, Pocket Points serves as a reminder to take your eyes off the screen and to focus more energy on the present.

“Look around and compare yourself to the other people around and if you have Pocket Points on then you’re probably one of the few that are not on their phone,” Sackman said.