Anti-Social Apps

With the recent release of apps such as Split and Cloak (intentionally not linking), I fear there is a trend on the horizon of using technology to “out-social” someone else. What I mean by that is, when your group of friends are using social media to display where they are or what they are doing, these apps make a conscience effort to stay as far away from them as possible.

One would say that some mobile apps have allowed our lives to be invaded and overshared in a way that leads to a bit of an information overload. For that reason, I understand why some people would want to abstain from checking in to every restaurant they go to, or broadcast what they are looking at with a tagged instagram picture or tweet. What I don’t like about these new anti-social apps is that they are taking people out of real world dynamics even further. Especially in NYC, a city where running into a familiar face on the street can be a strange combination of rare, awkward, but ultimately comforting, people who want to try to use technology to plug in to their so called “friends” and then actively avoid them, bother me.

Although I know this sounds purely like a rant, I think there is something deeper going on within our social networks. If users are going to complain about seeing where their friends are, what they are doing, and then using an app that pulls all of that data that they supposedly hate, to actively avoid them, maybe the problem isn’t everyone else. Maybe instead people should be focusing on the quality of their network and migrate to something like Path instead of worrying about their 900+ facebook friends running into them.

To me, technology is about moving us forward as human beings, and making our world a better place. Although I’m a big supporter of “eliminating inefficiencies”, there are some things that should not be eradicated. For the good of future generations and their ability to adapt in social situations, unexpected interaction is one of them. So lets focus on bringing people together or letting the chips fall where they may, and instead of avoiding your “friends” avoid the anti-social apps.