Today’s digital-philosophy mash-up: Sartre meets Foursquare

The BBC Click podcast today mentioned a fantastic new, anti-social, app, actually called Hell is Other People. Meant more a satirical joke than an actual app, it nevertheless provides fully fledged “anti-social” functionality, by telling you where to go to get as far away as possible from your Foursquare friends.

It is an awesome idea, and a welcome commentary on the increasing need to socialize everything we do. Philosophically, we are facing a conundrum as to what it means to live as humans completely socially, devoid of our normal boundaries which separate private and public. Sartre would go insane at the idea of Facebook (although he might like the nihilism of Snapchat). It will take us a long time to figure out what it means for our sanity. I look forward to discuss this with my all-digital children when they’re old enough to realize there was a past before YouTube and iPads.

It makes me long for the Economist to bring back their Thinking Space app, which was meant to show places in the city where one could think in peace. But maybe another app can’t be the solution to being too digital? FastCompany tells us to #unplug, but that can’t be the solution either.

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