Gyms are communal spaces where people can come to improve their health, fitness and/or overall well-being.
However, it’s no secret that many gyms have also become a production studio of sorts where influencers can set up a tripod to demonstrate the most cutting-edge squatting technique or where the average Joe can take that obligatory gym selfie to prove that the workout did, in fact, happen.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with either of these activities. However, they have sparked a new kind of behavior in gymgoers where they feign extreme frustration if folks walk from one machine to the next or grab a piece of equipment and, heaven forbid, enter the frame.
Take for instance a video shared to Reddit by u/ASTATINE_628, where we first see several cuts of a young woman at the gym, seemingly perturbed that people are continuously walking through her frame in her video.
The clip then cuts to a guy who breaks down what’s wrong with this scenario in a very clear and concise way.
“This sense of entitlement has gotten out of hand,” he said, noting that “for you to get upset because there’s people simply in your video going about their workout, not bothering you, minding their own business, is ridiculous.”
He certainly has a point. Of course, when personal space is actually being infringed upon, like when someone is facing harassment, that’s a different story. But in this case, as the man stated, there is no wrongdoing by simply existing.
The man then summed it all up with a short and sweet reminder about common decency. Or maybe not-so-common, since we’re needing reminders.
“Unless your name is on that gym, your filming is never a priority over other people. They pay the same gym membership that you do. If you can’t film responsibly, if you can’t respect other people in a shared space, you don’t belong filming at all,” he said.
Really, this behavior stems from something larger than modern-day gym culture. We film ourselves a lot these days, and often in public. This has undoubtedly caused a shift in how we view personal boundaries in the outside world, with both positive and negative effects.
On the one hand, it can be fun and self-esteem-boosting to treat your life as one big video diary. On the other hand, we bring strangers unwillingly into our orbit, treating them as punching bags, entertainment, or, in the case of the miffed gymgoers, nuisances. We vainly stop treating other people like fellow humans sharing life on this crazy blue planet. No video seems worth forgetting that.
Even for those who have never set foot into a gym, and never will, this is a poignant reminder to not lose our humanity as our relationship with social media grows. It’s perfectly fine to tap into “main character energy.” Let’s just keep in mind that really, we’re all part of the same story.
This article originally appeared on 3.28.23