New iPhone app makes you cough up for missing gym

A new app called GymPact charges you a fee is you miss a promised appointment at the gym. Is your iPhone now your daddy?

Anyone who has allowed a little porkiness to creep around their waist knows that removing it can be troublesome.

One tries to eat less. One votes for a new gym regime.

But getting up at 7 in the morning to jiggle with the bright-eyed and bushy-bottomed can verge toward the impossible.

So along comes GymPact, an iPhone app that will tear money from your pocket, should you fail to go to the gym when you promised.

At first glance, this seems to resemble, well, theft. Who are these GymPact people to take your money just because the duvet was slightly more enticing than an elliptical monstrosity?

As Reuters exercises it, GymPact's founder Yifan Zhang believes in hitting you where it hurts.

The idea here is that you offer up your credit card and it will get cha-chinged if you renege on a promise to visit the gym. This being a contemporary product, you are required to check in for at least 30 minutes at an establishment of exercise in order to prove your intent.

If you don't, your card will be debited with anything from $5 to $50. (You set the stakes.) What is even more frightening is that your money will then be given--proportionately--to those who did keep their promise to flex their glutes.

"We really think of what you have on the line as the number of days you're committing. That's really the focus of the program--how many days can we get you to go to the gym every week," Zhang told Reuters.

While Zhang seems to think this form of loss aversion is psychologically proven, I wonder how the app can tell whether you've exercised at the gym, rather than sipped a smoothie and chatted with Gloria the tight-calved fitness instructor.

GymPact's promotional video claims that the scheme had a 90 percent success rate in a pilot program.

Some, though, might find this question fluttering around their bar bells: just how pathetic have human beings become?

It seems that quite a few humans are incapable of eating, drinking, or living without an app to guide them along the difficult path to self-fulfillment.

It seems like only yesterday that I bumped into a man in a bar who was using iPhone apps to measure his alcoholic and calorific intake .

Can humanity really no longer achieve anything without an 'appy ending, middle and beginning?

Have iPhone apps become our mommies and daddies, there to tell us right from wrong, fat from thin and, who knows, sane from insane?

I am sure there will be those who will revel in their enthusiasm to make money from the weak-willed and hungover.

However, if money is your only incentive in life, what are you? That's right. A banker.

 

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