Need motivation to start exercising again? Tired of sitting on the sofa and moaning about it, but lacking the energy to get started? Well, how about you stop thinking of yourself and start thinking about someone else for a change? Better yet, do both. The Good Gym is a fantastic example of how innovative use of social media can motivate you to be active whilst contributing something to your local community.
The premise is simple: you run; on your run you stop and visit a vulnerable adult (for a chat, or to give them a hand with a task); then you run some more. That’s it. The good folk at The Good Gym manage the system to ensure safety and social contact go hand-in-hand. What we love about this idea is that the innovation doesn’t require cutting-edge technology; just great thinking. Not only does it solve 2 problems in one go (you’re personal desire to get fit with the loneliness experienced by many vulnerable adults), but it actually enhances the solution: you’re far more likely to go for that run if you know someone is expecting you, and you need to self-motivate becomes less important.
Social Media has in recent years been the focus of various local community ideas. Applications like FixMyStreet and My Council Services are laudable attempt to engage citizens and highlight the good work Councils do that often go unnoticed. It’s easy to moan about a Council when the ‘Council’ is a far away body you don’t interact with. But as Councils improve transparency and engage with this audience, those critics may in fact come to understand some of the pressures the Councils are under, engage with the Councils to help make things better, and eventually become advocates as they begin to feel ownership over their local spaces.
Time and again we look at the booming social technology sector and ask ‘what can the technology do’? Increasingly, it’s time to ask ‘what can we do with the technology?’