IN this new world of social media, facebooking and phones that let us communicate as never before, a new era of gym networking has been ushered in. This era comes with both opportunities and potential for damages. Let’s examine all of these.
Social media sites have made it easier than every to engage in dating. You can learn more about people by skimming “their wall” than from a handful of conversations. You can meet people in the gym by virtue of your common friends being the gymgoers you both know, or the actual gym page itself. And you may find a romantic connection based upon your common interests and desires and schedule. But be careful – this works both ways – and much like a workplace romance.
Casual conversations about the nature of your work can lead to business opportunities in the gym. Everyone needs a landscaper, a website designer, and a good plumber, and casual conversation can reveal trades which can be bartered or purchased. The drawback to this is that working together – and exchanging money – may lead to a situation where the friendship becomes a business relationship. If the person is unhappy with your services, or vice versa, you may create a situation which is awkward for all. At the same time, however, you may end up creating a mutually beneficial business partnership with a person you can high-five after a great set of squats. And nothing beats that!
Just as you will find grifters and ripoff artists in every wake of life, you will discover them in the gym as well. Always guard your personal information and belongings just as you would in any other location or situation. The people in the gym are just like everyone else out there – and some are out to take what is yours.
Where you sleep…
Making friends and business deals with those you have to see every day (since you both attend the same gym) can lead to some sticky and possibly awkward situations down the road. Many people have rules against dating those who they work with, and for good reason. If you think this may lead to an awkward situation down the road, then you may wish to focus your networking efforts, both socially and professionally, upon individuals you don’t have to share cardio equipment with every day.
One new feature offered by smart phones is the ability to ‘check in’ at certain locations automatically based upon tracking software within you phone, coupled with a location database. This can be very useful for noticing when your friends are headed to the gym to train, and can allow you to find a spotter much easier than just looking around the gym for a familiar face when you get there. However, it can also lead to some sticky situations should you wish to avoid someone (read: stalker) who is suddenly able to track your every movement thanks to the phone you always have on your side and your willingness to share personal location information. Always put safety first!
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