Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 00:00

Imagine a social network that instead of connecting you friends, allows you to actively avoid them. That’s what Cloak is. Billing itself as the antisocial network, the app allows you to connect to your Instagram and Foursquare accounts, and track friends and family that have posted about being in your area. You can then ensure that you never have to bump into them, just by avoiding the place you know they were last. You can set up alerts to warn you that someone is coming within the range you specify, allowing to divert at the last minute and avoid that awkward interaction. Of course, there are a couple of caveats. First off is the obvious: it uses Instagram and Foursquare instead of Facebook, which is more popular than the latter and more likely to have locations data than the former. And it also relies on users not only divulging their location data, but also being truthful about it. You have to follow people to find their location too, so you have the choice of seeing their photos infiltrate your Instagram feed or setting up a separate account (“hate follow” anyone?) solely for using on Cloak. It’s not an entirely serious app, but it’s a bit of fun. And who knows, it may even help you avoid an awkward encounter or two.