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'Hell is Other People,' and Other Social Avoidance Apps
By: Christine Geraci
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The hyper-connectedness of our digital culture is almost too overwhelming for some. So what are those people supposed to do? Go off the grid? If one NYU graduate student has his way, we will use technology not to connect to others, but to avoid them.
 
"Hell Is Other People," an app created by interactive telecommunications master's candidate Scott Garner, uses Foursquare to show you where your friends are — and then help you avoid them. The app highlights where your friends are in orange, and then shows you "green zones" where you can safely avoid them.
 
It's been dubbed by university professors as "anti-social media," if you will — an app that essentially snubs its nose at all other social apps.
 
And it's not the only one.
 
Another Foursquare-based app, Avoidr, aims to help you avoid non-friends by letting you know where they are so you can in turn find somewhere else to hang. The app also alerts you to where your anti-friends check in most so you can avoid those places too. 
 
The social avoidance doesn't have to stop at just people. The app "Buycott" lets you scan barcodes so you can then determine the product's "corporate family tree." If the product doesn't jive with your ideals or is made by a parent company you can't stand, you can shelve it. 
 
So what do you think of this "anti-social media" concept? Do you ever use technology to disconnect from others?


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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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