In October of 2011, the Find My Friends app was released which allowed users to easily see where their friends were on a map using location information gathered by their smartphones. It was intended for users of all ages, but quickly it turned into an app for parents to keep track of their children.
Cloak, a new app created by Brian Moore and Chris Baker, reinvents the idea of Find My Friends by showing you where people are that you want to avoid. The app scans your Instagram and Foursquare friends and shows their recent check-in locations on a map.
You may not want to avoid everyone, though, and that’s why there is an option for you choose who you want to avoid. If you’re feeling like a recluse, you can even change the settings to alert you when any of your friends are nearby. Even though the app currently has limits as to how it finds your contacts, developers are hopeful to add Facebook soon.
However, some people won’t just use this app to dodge awkward conversation. There are plenty of times when you catch yourself going to the store looking like a mess or skipping out on an important event and you do not want to run into anyone you may know. Sometimes it is even nice to put your phone down and catch up on some work you’ve been meaning to get done.
While the app will most likely be used for its original purpose, it could still be used in the opposite way. So while you’re using the app to avoid your creepy ex, remember he or she could be using it to run into you. Unless you really like the fact that any of your contacts can now use this app to see where you are, be careful of checking-in on social networks.
“This new app is silly,” said Katelyn Hatton, St. Clair Shores first-year. “Although the app might be beneficial if there is someone that causes serious problems in your life, for the most part, it is obsessive to change your daily activities because you might run into someone.”
Will this new app stop people from social networking? No, it definitely won’t, but it will make an impact. This is the first app to show us that we may not actually like to socialize with people. Cloak has started the move away from over sharing trivial updates.
It’s almost the perfect antisocial network.