Another week, another social network. You could be forgiven for thinking that a new one appears with that kind of frequency. And while that may be a slight exaggeration, it is getting harder to distinguish the wheat from the MySpace…er…chaff.
In order to rise above the rest, some networks are attempting to take a very different approach. A good example of this is Path. Available for both iOS (iPhones) and Android, Path started in late 2010 as a way to “keep a personal journal or ‘Path’ of your life.” The app – and it is an app, with the only way point of access being via your phone – is a bit of an amalgamation of common social features seen in other networks: sharing photos, status/text updates, and connecting with friends.
It is that last feature that is a bit different though – unlike Twitter, where the limit number of on followers is non-existent, or on Facebook where it is in the thousands, on Path you can only add 150 people to your network.
Why would a social network put limitations on how social you can be? Their argument is that “we tend to have 5 best friends, 15 good friends, 50 close friends and family, and 150 total friends.” Read another way, the value of digital friendship isn’t high, given how common they can be. Path reminds you that true relationships are scarce and precious, and that you shouldn’t lose sight of that just because you’re now connected to a global online community.
Given that our Church started when Christ started to walk His path with 12 of his closest friends, the impact of building strong relationships with a special few can be huge! So, maybe it’s time to take another look at your social networks, and think about quality vs. quantity.