Please Do Not Friend Me On Path
Please Do Not Friend Me On Path
by

The hot new social media network du jour this month is Path. The mobile app which allows you to share your life’s path with up to 150 friends (up from its original limitation of 50) got a shot in the arm recently with a new user interface (which is quite lovely) and an ensuing round of good publicity. Shortly after its profile in the USA Today last week, I noticed a big surge in people wanting to friend me there.

I’ve been experimenting with Path for about a year now. It’s a neat concept, but its the concept that people don’t seem to get. Instead of friending everyone you know like you do with other social networks, Path is built so that you connect with just the people you really know. As such, it’s a place where many users share much more unfiltered versions of themselves.

Path Screen CaptureStill, I’m getting friend requests from people I’ve only come into contact with in cursory fashion — not to mention people who probably don’t want me all up in their business.

Stop it.

Just because there’s another social network out there doesn’t mean you have to be the fastest to 10 million friends. You also don’t have to figure out how to use it for business purposes. The first person who comes out with a Path ranking can kiss my ass and is forever launched into the Hall of Fame of Dumbasses.

It might just be that Path is your own little family and friends network away from the big playgrounds of Facebook and Twitter. It might just be that here you share your family pictures and notes about your kids and not worry about who might see them because the 60 people you’re connected to are people who may babysit for you at some point.

The point of Path is to carefully select and curate who sees your stuff. Maybe this is a chance for you to reset and grow into a social network naturally rather than trying to be Johnny Marketer on the Spot.

If I friend you on Path (and yes, I went an curated a bunch of people last night), it’s because I know you personally. You’ve probably met my family. I would trust you to watch my kids. If you’re not in that circle, don’t friend me there. Or at least don’t expect me to friend you back.

It’s not personal. The app is.

Note: Hat tip to Aaron Marshall for inspring this post.

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • Ah – scratch that. I see what you’re referring to. Move along.

  • Sorry, hadn’t had a chance to read this yet. I was buying stock in you on Boardwalk Empire.

  • Oaks

    Jason,

    I totally agree with you but I find that @path is blurring the line with their other social media integrations.  They allow Path updates to be shared on other sites like, Twitter and Facebook, making the reader/audience get the wrong impression.  The reader/audience (followers) think “this is another place I should be connecting with everyone.”  in my opinion the reader/audience gets the wrong impression.  The author decided to share the same message on Path and all the other sites, this must mean they want me (the reader/audience) to connect there too. 

    Thanks again for setting the record straight. 

    MO

    • Great point, MO. If Path really wants people to respect the fact it’s for the close friends only, they wouldn’t encourage such mass distribution. But then again, if the average Facebook user has 130 friends, it’s not as mass as we might think. But then again, if most people are limiting their Facebook network to the 130 people … probably close friends … what’s the point of Path? It’s just a big circular cluster sometimes. Heh.

      But nice point to throw that out there. It is easy to get that impression because of that functionality.

      • Am I missing something here? I don’t see the ability to distribute Path content to other networks. (Not that I’d want to anyway)

        • LaToya Davidson

          Eric you can do so within the app when making the post. At the bottom right of the screen you’ll see light icons for each of the networks it supports.

          • Thx LaToya.

            Yea, I saw that after I hit the “done” button while posting an update. Again, not sure why one would want to share Path content to the rest of those platforms – I f I wanted to do that, I’d just start at twitter & let that push it out…

            @JasonFalls:disqus – I like your stance on this – my Path is now only 8 people. 

      • On the topic of Facebook users with 130 friends, do you find that occurring if said user is also tweeting? Is there a correlation between the two, and that someone without a Twitter account would have less Facebook friends than one who is tweeting?

        • Good question, Ari. I don’t have access to the data to run it. Maybe we can have someone volunteer to look at Facebook users who also have linked Twitter accounts and see of there’s a correlational increase in FB fans. Interesting perspectives could come out of that.

  • I agree Jason.  Most people are succumbing to social network fatigue.  As a social media professional, every a new network comes out, my first thought is “oh, cool let’s check it out.”  My second thought is, “Oh, great another social network I don’t have time for.”  So, really we do have to pick and choose where, when, and how we spend our time.  This is particularly true for those of us who want to protect the one shred of real, or imagined privacy they have left.

    Too many of my followers are deluded that nobody cares enough about their status updates to pay attention to minor things like “privacy” or “their job.”  Until a little ol thing called “Your Fired,” roosts ugly on your desk, and you find yourself packing up your cares and woes in a box and are escorted out the door by security.  There’s no such thing as privacy.  Not in the social network world.

    I agree, If I do get on Path, I won’t allow people to be my friend their either.  I’m already over exposed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Blogtalkradio, Tumblr, WordPress, and now Scoop.it, and oh I’m leaving out the waste of time apps, and social networks of yore, MySpace, Empire Avenue, Plancast, Viadeo, and Quora.  Not to mention the 25 social book marks I use to distribute my content.

    I am a social media machine, a veritable hound dog when it comes to sniffing the scent of the next new media trend.  It’s why I LOVE, love, love your book: No BullShit Social Media.  Thank you by the way for writing it.  Last weekend I wrote a post about the books they must put on their holiday gift list…your book topped the list.

    I met Eric Dekers, at Podcamp in Nashville.  It was super cool to meet him.  Tell him I said hello.  I’m incredibly grateful to you both.

    My sincere best,

    Margo Rose
    also known as @HRMargo:twitter 
    Blogtalkradio show host, Compassionate HR http://blogtalkradio.com/comphr
    http://linkedin.com/margorose