Strava is the only social media app on my phone, and, in part because of that, I care way too much about it. It’s the thing I obsessively check whenever I enter my passcode, in lieu of having Twitter or Instagram on there, and it’s the app I want more followers on and care how many likes I get. I do think that Strava is better than a lot of other social media apps in some of those more addictive regards, as it’s pretty pointless to scroll past a certain point on it, and a run going on Strava is always a nice bonus rather than its priamry purpose, but still, it does have some of the worst qualities of these kinds of apps.
I tell myself that I use it to motivate myself because I can see what my friends are doing, but in reality I think it just makes me competitive and compare myself to them in unhelpful and unhealthy ways. I also tell myself it’s a useful way to keep track of my training, but given that the great Eliud Kipchoge himself just uses a pen and a notebook, perhaps I am kidding myself - he is the GOAT after all.
Someone asked me the other day how I’d feel if I went running and couldn’t upload it for whatever reason, and I realised I’d be genuinely upset, despite the fact that I would tell myself I ran for a hundred different reasons before I told myself I ran for affirmation and validation from Strava. Perhaps as part of my goal to try to have a healthier relationship with running, I should reconsider my use of the app too.