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Anti-social networking apps: We’re better, disconnected

That person you met randomly on a night out and hoped you’d never see again. Those ’20 minute meetings’ that turn into 4 hour tests of patience. Those endless calls, texts and tweets from someone you really wish would get the message.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to get out of awkward situations? There is. Your mobile phone is a double edged sword. As well as being a tool for connecting with people, your phone can also be used for the opposite purpose. Read on to find out how to become a fully fledged anti-social networker.

Fake Calling

A godsend for the awkward situation and perhaps the most useful weapon in the anti-social networker’s arsenal.

There is a variety of Fake Call apps available to download for the iPhone, Android Phones, BlackBerries and Windows Mobile phones.

If there isn’t an app for your particular phone you could always put on an act. Discreetly open the appropriate settings menu, thumb through to where your ringtone is and play it, as if you’ve got a call coming in. Alternatively pretend your phone is on silent and you’re ‘answering’ it.

Now you can walk past that charity worker in the street/duck out of that meeting and pretend to be busy on a call. Of course if someone actually rings you up when you’re doing this then you’re rumbled.

Of all the networks it’s Orange which acutely understands the need to fake a call. Orange recently announced the release of its Fake A Call app, available for £2 from the Orange app store on a variety of handsets.

Windows Mobile might also be leaving us but for those who are still clinging on before Windows Phone 7 launches, there’s this Fake Call app (£0.69).


Fake Battery

‘Hey haven’t you got one of those Google phones? Can I check my Facebook quickly?’

Normally I don’t have a problem with people borrowing my phone to make a call or send a text if their phone is out of battery. However if my battery is also on the wane, I can’t always accommodate. I also don’t appreciate it if the loan of my phone also extends to a cursory check of statuses and tweets.

Thankfully the Fake Battery app for Android solves this dilemma. Again you could always tell the truth and just say your phone doesn’t have much battery left. Or, if it does, lie.

Fake Broken Screen

Pretty self explanatory this. Download a fake cracked screen app and pretend that your phone is broken and you’re getting a replacement screen fitted over the weekend or something.

Just don’t let anyone see you playing Angry Birds five minutes after you’ve told them your phone is broken. 

Don’t answer, don’t text back

About a month ago Rick Webb of the Barbarian Group caused a bit of a stir with a post on his Tumblr, which trumpeted the superiority of text messages over phone calls.

“…[There] was a 70 year or so period where for some reason humans decided it was socially acceptable to ring a loud bell in someone else’s life and they were expected to come running, like dogs.”

 While I agree with him that text messages are convenient and discreet, I disagree with this point above. Don’t be a dog. You don’t have to answer the phone. Be a cat instead; yawn, shrug indifferently and get back to whatever it is you were doing before. Relish in the incessant chatter of your ringtone. Then go and kill some mice or something..

Call Barring

Unfortunately unwanted attention can often be a bit more serious than a mildly annoying intrusion into your daily routine. Harassment and threats are unpleasent and difficult to deal with. If you’ve been getting abusive calls or messages then the first course of action is to put an order in for a replacement SIM and a new number. Whilst you’re waiting for this to be sorted out there are a few options available to you.

Most phones will enable call barring from the settings menus. There are also a good number of apps out there that can facilitate this simple feature in a more user-friendly and selective manner. These apps will allow you to block all calls from private/withheld numbers: Windows Mobile – Xblockr Lite blocks all calls from pay phones, Android – Call Blocker prevents people from leaving voicemail, and there’s BuzzOff for Blackberry users.



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