Tytti Rintanen – Running for charity

Some time ago I learned from a classmate, that people are earning money for charity while they work out. This weird phenomenon, where someone sponsors your exercise even if you’re not a professional athlete, became familiar to me already in primary school: we had Unicef Walking -campaigns, where students were sponsored for their kilometers, and the earned money was donated to Unicef. However, this Charity Miles mobile application my friend talked about, seems to take it all to another level. People can decide to support a certain cause whenever and where ever they are walking, running or biking. The application tracks the route and counts the sponsored sum: bikers earn 10 cents per mile and walkers and runners 25 cents per mile. Being healthy and good; this is what I’d call multitasking.

The tricky side of this application (yes, there always is one) is, that in order to earn and donate money you have to post on your social media feed the details of your training. These “Tytti just ran 15 miles with Charity Miles” -type of announcements could cause a massive flight among Facebook friends, at least if we’re to listen to the fears of some of my sporty friends: “It can be interpreted as boasting of one’s self-discipline and charitableness” or “People would think I’m a conceited sporty hypocrite”. Wonder if that would really be the case… as many are posting advertisements to get special offers, already. Anyway, it has been a pleasure to learn that sport related mobile applications are used also for something else than counting the fat burned on the way. And I wonder if activity trackers like Bodymedia can already be combined to this application? Then the mediated multitasking would attain it’s top, I’m sure.


Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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