Thursday, July 24, 2014
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EDIT: Social media for the anti-social

Finally, a new social media app has been created to eliminate the possibility of a dreaded and awkward encounter with our archenemies during the day. Because apparently, enduring small talk and civil conversations with those we don’t exactly match eye-to-eye has become too much for some people to handle.

Creator of Cloak and former creative director Chris Baker deems this new app, “The social network for the anti-social.”

Cloak would pull location data from social networking apps where people have checked-in. So far, this app is only connected to Foursquare and Instagram, so it will only be useful if people follow their nemesis on those networks.

“I think we’ve seen the crest of the big social network … I think anti-social stuff is on the rise. You’ll be seeing more and more of these types of projects,” Baker said in an email to the Washington Post.

Baker told the Washington Post that he is working on connecting Cloak to more social media services in the future. But even if this app links up with big sites such as Facebook and Twitter, its efficiency would depend on people documenting every trivial trip they take to Starbucks or the dining hall.

Logistics aside, this app is yet another technological innovation that would disconnect people from each other in social settings. Although we can disconnect ourselves with the swipe of an iPhone, we are still obsessed with connecting with our friends, families and even strangers through social media.

But just as texting and FaceTime have done, Cloak would give us another medium to replace personal interactions, even the unwanted ones. Our society does not need another way to become more anti-social — we already have the ability to ignore those around us by getting lost in our smartphones.

Although many people live with social anxiety, one of the most important social skills one can have is knowing how to be civil while interacting with those we find unpleasant, awkward or just undesirable.

Yes, ruling out awkward conversations and interactions in our lives will make some of our days a little smoother, but, at the same time, such is part of life. It’s what everyone alive before the Millennium had to do.

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