For users, social media is a means of bringing people together. However, for every imitator, there is also seemingly a dissenter that is intent on bucking the trend that everyone else is so passionate about following. The latter is the case with the app mentioned in this particular article. The main focus is on Cloak, an app that allows users to avoid “Friends” by pulling location data from other social media apps such as Instagram and Foursquare to tell the user when they are about to run into one of their “friends” so that they can avoid them.
Among the limitations listed are the fact that it only uses Foursquare and Instagram at the moment; it will apparently add Facebook’s network in the future.
What I found most intriguing about this app is that it is a means of subverting the norm of social media and simply another unique concept among many others. It is essentially turning social media on its head and showing new possibilities in terms of how to used established platforms and giving them a new twist.
I also think that these apps follow up with a previous post about Whisper in which users of social media want a bit of anonymity back. While this app does not allow you to express your opinion outright, it allows you to avoid interactions that you might be a bit overwhelmed by considering the ever prevalent nature of social media.
The question for me is whether this kind of app is actually viable in the long run as more than just a novelty. While it is an admittedly interesting concept, I doubt whether it would be able to hold up long enough to keep enough people’s attentions. I personally do not find this app appealing in the least. Many claim that social media might keep us more connected virtually, but it is also in many ways keeping us away from interacting with one another face to face. This app seems to encourage human interaction more than provide a relief and I personally cannot truly find the appeal for it.
One concern for me is whether this app might actually be a cause for invading people’s privacy in a manner that it did not originally intend. What if people utilize the app to follow people; the GPS installed into it might be intended as a radar to ward off people, but it could always be utilized for the complete opposite. Does that have potentially dangerous ramifications?