Keith Campbell, a professor in the psychology department of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in Bicycling about the psychology of bike-riding apps.
Cycling’s digital revolution combines social media and self-tracking, two of the most popular trends in consumer culture. Like all other technologies, these apps are made to feel indispensable to the user, but they’re also useful for those who are training and can even make cycling more satisfying. The apps can help you share your experiences with other cyclists, which can challenge you to push harder. But the competitive pressure doesn’t necessarily mean you’re having more fun. Rides can become about the experience or content you’re creating for others to enjoy or to make you feel important.
“For some folks, the numbers and the images become the experience,” said Campbell, who is part of the industrial-organizational program/brain and behavioral sciences program. “In the old days, you would become a local legend by word of mouth or by doing something legendary that people saw. Today, to be a legend, you need video.”