Dodge this: It’s just what we needed — yet another hipster toy for your cell phone. If, like so many other poor souls, you suffer from a crippling addiction to text messaging, you’ll surely get a kick out of the new-ish service Dodgeball: It doesn’t have anything to do with flying red rubber kickballs; rather, this national service, available in 22 cities, is almost like a paging service to keep track of your friends.

The way it works: Sign up, and find your friends (or rope them into joining). Once you’ve added your buddies, send a text message to the service noting your whereabouts, and Dodgeball will in turn send a message to all your pals, letting them know where you are, including the address of whatever venue you might be occupying. The service has a list of Detroit venues, ranging from coffee shops to bars, and you can add your own.

You choose whom to add to your list, so you’re not exactly posting your cell number to all of the Internet. But, a fair warning: When you text your whereabouts, the service will notify anyone in a 10-block radius who is on your friends’ list — in other words, your friends’ friends. So, if your buddies have ugly friends, you might want to proceed with caution. Otherwise, it’s a fun little service, and yet another tool of distraction in the ever-growing arsenal of electronic communication.

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April 14, 2021

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