December 24, 2014
The winter holidays are wonderful…beautiful…cheerful; the winter holidays are terrible…stressful…awful. No matter who you are, this time of year often represents some of the best and the worst of what this life has to offer. Sure, many of us get to go back to our hometowns to visit our families, but we also run the risk of stumbling upon that girl in our AP Lit class who confused allegory with conceit (I mean, come on). While I’m not opposed to my fellow human beings in general, there is a limit to my level of tolerance, and that limit is almost always reached – nay, exceeded – during the winter holiday season. Surrounded by Christmas shoppers, former high school friends, and New Years aficionados, the winter holiday respite oftentimes turns into something more annoying than peaceful. Luckily, web-based app Avoid Humans exists precisely to help us do just that: avoid humans.
Created by the Austin, TX-based ad agency GSD&M, the application was launched earlier this year during South By SouthWest. Intended to help people taking a minor break from the crowds at the annual event, Avoid Humans helps people find the nearest venues to settle into that contain the least number of people. Using available check-in data from Foursquare and Instagram, the app allows users to determine where people are and aren’t checking into. They even have the option to sort by different categories, such as nightlife, food, coffee, and refuge (e.g. parks).
It’s important to note, though, that Avoid Humans may not help you to avoid all humans. Since information is only based on data provided by Foursquare and Instagram, the app provides an inaccurate count of precisely how many people are in any given venue. This doesn’t mean, however, that the web app is completely pointless. Because it’s the holiday season, everyone and their mom (an exaggeration) is out and about taking pictures and actively checking in through these apps, which can give you some direction in determining where to go to escape the crowds.
Check out Avoid Humans for yourself, and find some alone time away from family or your ex-fling next door.
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