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Debt-swapping for better entrepreneurship? Framing your company's shortcomings as gifts

Opening the Planet Fitness app for the first time, its home screen was taking quite long to load.

Then, the screen changed to another loading screen that read this:


Planet Fitness: "You deserve a second for yourself."

Seems like a nice message on the surface.

But, this is how it came across to me:

  • Debt-swapping: your app is taking too long to load, which is a downside on your part. So, you twist the incompetency of your app into a "gift of time" for me.
  • Credit presupposing: did I say I wanted more time for myself? Turns out, I would've preferred if they'd have loaded the app sooner.
  • Potential emotional manipulation (lying): how do you know if I deserve more time for myself? What if I've been lazy to the point of poor health and want less time "for myself" and more time getting my health back? (Their message now seems like that "feel good" self-development stuff that's often unhelpful.)

Personally, I would've preferred to read a message that's more honest or, maybe their best option here, if they would've said nothing at all. (That way, it seems like they're focused more on getting the app up than on convincing me that I should be OK with the app not being open yet).

Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Loading-screen Message: "You deserve a second for yourself"

I liked the breakdown Ali, it's so effective to take something like a single statement like this and really take a close look at the frames and implications of that one sentence.
This can tell you a lot about the prevalent mindset, especially if they are consistent with their attitude and frames.

What I dislike most about it is the condescending frame:
"We let you know that we decided that you now deserve a second for yourself (while we let you wait)".

I agree an honest message would have been better (and I think it's very useful to have something to compare their current message to).
A better option would have probably been something like:

- Still preparing your experience, meanwhile you could take a deep breath to relax from your day

- Almost ready, a quick stretch could make you more comfortable

Not really refined, but something along those lines.

Lucio Buffalmano and Ali Scarlett have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoAli Scarlett

Yeah, a cheap-ish, obvious power move to turn a fault (and debt) into a plus (and credit).

Whenever a power move is that obvious, it often annoys people, even the ones who are less power-aware, so that's often also ineffective.

Anon's options are far better to minimize / reframe their issue, without reeking of a manipulative and annoying power move.

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?