It was only a matter time until all this social media got a little more, well, antisocial. Meet Cloak, a new free app that lets you actively avoid what we all pretend to like, but really hate: Bumping into people you know.
Once you download Cloak—whose tagline is “incognito mode for real life”—you’ll see a map filled with places that people you follow on Instagram and Foursquare (yes, apparently, people still use Foursquare) have recently checked into or location-tagged.
From there, you can choose who you want to “flag” (aka avoid like the plague), and get real-time alerts when they come within a block of your location. That bitchy girl from college who’s always looking you up and down? Flag! That creepy guy you went out with a few times and never want to see again? Flag!
Granted, Cloak basically confirms what we already know: That technology is stripping our lives of coincidence, and that we’re totally comfortable
stalking catching up with people we know so long as there’s an iPhone screen between us, and that personal contact—especially when it’s not orchestrated—is fast becoming a thorn in our collective sides.
Still, that’s not to say this app won’t be a hit with social media users who live in towns or cities that are stacked with “friends” lurking behind every Starbucks door, and for people aren’t always in the mood to do the whole semi-awkward “oh my god, how are you?” song and dance.
Don’t use Foursquare or Instagram that much? Don’t worry, the app will be adding more social networks soon, although probably not Twitter, since—according to the company—most users have their location data turned off and even when it’s on, it’s vague. What’s not vague? How useful this app really is if you live in a place that’s stacked with “friends” you’d rather only see on your terms.