Leave the phone behind: Gym Etiquette

Posted on: February 7, 2019
By: Christie Garofano

I was taking a spinning class at an area gym this past weekend. All of a sudden I saw a flash of light go off in mid-pedal and wondered what it was thinking strangely that someone was taking a photo. It turned out to be inches away from me. The rider next to me had her cell phone on her handle bars and had got a text message. Now, let me be frank……CELL PHONES ARE UNNECCESSARY WHEN WORKING OUT especially in a group fitness setting lead by an instructor with music. And if for some extreme reason you need to have your cell phone in front of your face working out (i.e. on call Dr.) you sure as hell should have a discrete notification setting not one that could disrupt another participant to the point where they think they will have a seizure due to multiple flashes of light, which in my experience was what the instructor described when the flash went off and interestingly enough she has not addressed with this repeat offender in her class. So this whole experience got me thinking about how technology is doing more harm than good in this day and age from a well-being perspective physically, emotionally, socially and otherwise. Agree or disagree, think twice and beyond yourself about how your own technology usage may be adversely impacting others because of your own selfish behavior and adjust accordingly.

  • Inability to leave your phone on silence off your person during a workout, appointment, meeting or other engagement when a phone is just not necessary
  • Comparing yourself and your life and feeling “less than” based on what you see on social media. No one is posting the “worst parts of their lives” on FB & Insta. but only the fun and flowery stuff that only results in judgement from others
  • Involving others around you in your phone conversation while in the grocery store because you have no self-regulation in the volume of your voice when talking while shopping or worse, in the check out line.
  • Interrupting others workouts by not silencing your phone during yoga class or having a phone at your side in a group fitness class
  • Inability to leave your phone alone when dinning out with friends or family

I could go on but I think we all know that we are all guilty of over use. I know I am and the reminders above are as much for me as for everyone else. I utilize numerous well-being apps for meditation, journaling, affirmations and other tracking mechanisms in addition for audio book “reading” and yoga practice not to mention grocery shopping and banking and business. In the past three months I have set up some rules of use for myself that generally work well but there are periodic moments when I unnecessarily use my phone when silence or detachment would be the better option and other times when my phone being on silence has resulted in being late for or missing calls or scheduled appointments.

At the very least I think it is important to audit our behaviors around technology usage and how it may be adversely impacting us and others around us! And I will never know why a “camera style” flash is an optimal message notifier especially in a dark spinning studio at 8am on a Saturday morning!

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