The premise for most social app is to connect users with family, friends, work associates and sometimes even random good looking strangers located within a certain distance from your GPS location. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and yes, even apps like Tinder were created so you can interact with your connections to boost your social life, hence the term social network. But what if we were to use the same technology so users could avoid one another?
Cloak is a free iPhone app which detects and maps out location check-ins from your Instagram and Foursquare contacts, so you know exactly where not to go. The developers are working on integrating Facebook with Cloak soon as well. By clicking one of the bubbles on the map, you’ll see a person’s name, his or her location and how long ago he or she checked in. The most recent check-ins will appear darker than those who checked in earlier. The application’s tag line reads “Incognito mode for real life”, while others are dubbing the app as the anti-social network.
Why exactly would you want to avoid your social media contacts? They are supposed to be our friends after all, right? We all know this isn’t true. Almost everyone has ‘friends’ that they don’t want to see, especially in a particular setting. It all started when Brian Moore was tired of running into his ex-girlfriend. They had numerous encounters over several months and the awkwardness was becoming unbearable. Surely anyone who has dated within their own town/city knows this feeling. He and his friend Chris Baker knew something had to be done to avoid these unwanted meetings…and Cloak was born.
It’s not just for avoiding exes, maybe you want to avoid your boss, that creepy Instagram follower who likes all your posts seconds after you’ve uploaded it, you know, like this guy, or sometimes you just don’t feel like having those annoying stop and chats with acquaintances. Baker said there are plenty of other reasons why someone might not want be seen such as while on a first date, if you’re skipping school, recovering from surgery, or a time where you simply aren’t looking your best.
Theoretically, Cloak could be used for its exact opposite purpose, for people to find you. Be smart and logical when using this app, if you don’t want people to know where you are, don’t post your whereabouts. Under the privacy settings there is an option which disables your location information which allows you to still see where your contacts are but they can’t see you. Being social was so 2013, have fun hiding!