Anti-Social App Lets You Avoid People

May 12, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. antithesis /ænˈtɪθəɪs/ (n.) – the equal but complete opposite of something
Example: Insecurity is the antithesis of self-confidence.

2. run into /rʌn ˈɪn (idiom) – to briefly meet someone accidentally or unexpectedly
Example: He was a little uncomfortable when he ran into his boss in the bar.

3. geolocation /dʒiˈɒloʊˈkeɪʃən/ (n.) – the way of locating a person or a device through information provided on the Internet
Example: The app’s geolocation identifies where the user’s friends are. 

4. vicinity /vɪˈsɪnɪ (n.) – the area that surrounds a particular place
Example: He just drove away when he couldn’t find a parking space in the vicinity.

5. operating system /ˈɒpəˌreɪɪŋ ˈsɪsəm/ (n.) – the program controls the computer and its functions
Example: The computer was completely useless because its operating system was malfunctioning.


Read the text below.
A new app designed to help users avoid unwanted encounters with other people has been recently released in the Apple App Store.

Created by programmers Brian Moore [BRAHY-uh n mohr] and Chris Baker [kris BEY-ker], ‘Cloak’ can be considered as the antithesis of social networking sites. The main function of this app is to keep users from running into people.

Cloak is the latest among Baker’s anti-social applications. He is well-known for developing software that helps users avoid people in a fun way, such as the plugin ‘Rather.’

With Cloak, users will have the chance to completely avoid people they do not want to see in real life. The app uses geolocation that allows the user to see if any of the people they want to avoid are within the user’s vicinity. It also displays the photos of the user’s friends on a map. Those who the user does not want to bump into will be flagged.

However, the app only works if the people the user wants to avoid are dedicated users of certain social networking sites, particularly those that trace the users’ geolocation. This is because Cloak uses this information to constantly keep track of each person’s location.

According to Baker, anti-social applications are necessary because they let users avoid people who they do not want to meet. The need for anti-social apps also increases as the social media becomes more crowded.

Cloak is currently available only to Apple devices. However, the creators plan to expand it to other operating systems if the app proves to be successful. They are also planning to add more features to the app in the future. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you use the Cloak app? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are disadvantages of using anti-social applications?

Discussion B

·         What are the good ways and bad ways in which social networking sites have changed the way people treat their friends?
·         Why do you think some people are obsessed with making lots of online friends they don’t know in real life?


May 12, 2014