'Hell is Other People': Anti-social media to keep you alone

Need a break from your Foursquare friends? Web app dubbed "an experiment in anti-social media" creates safe zones to help you avoid them.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
Creator Scott Garner tests his app in a video. Video screenshot by Nic Healey/CNET Australia

Like most social media, Foursquare is designed to connect people, but what if you feel like being alone?

Web app Hell is Other People takes friends' check-in data from your Foursquare account and calculates what the creator calls "optimally distanced locations" to make sure you don't bump into any of them.

Scott Garner, designer of the app named after Sartre's famous "hell is other people" quote from "No Exit," made a video in which he tests the effectiveness of these safe zones. You can watch it below.

Of course, the success rate depends on just how dedicated you and your friends are to Foursquare. You might have more success calling in sick, closing the blinds, and pretending not to be home.

But Hell is Other People, spotted by The Verge, was designed more as an art project than a functional app, and in those terms it works just fine.

(Source: CNET Australia)