PATH = Passive Aggressive Tweets Here

pathListen. I ain’t got hate for people who use their social networks for emotional outlets. The shoulder to cry on. The company for their misery. Hell, sometimes I’m that person. Not often. Only sometimes. And usually about failed technology.

But I hesitate to use a network that only attracts my attention for that sole reason. And that’s my feeling towards Path.

Path is a social network only accessible through a mobile app (red flag número uno) that allows you to share status updates, location check-ins, pictures, sleep deprivation issues, etc. with only up to 150 contacts. It makes sense because they say a person can only have consistent relationships with up to 150 people in life at any one time, so the purpose of the network is clear and is executed very well. It’s a semi-private place for regular people and their friends.

But the only time I ever look to Path to report something in my life is when I need to take out my negative feelings toward something. Why? Because I know it’s not largely public, Google-able, or retweetable, therefore feelings exerted and no harm done. After all, according to Path these are supposed to be my closest friends.

However, everytime I’ve gone to Path because I wanted to get something off my chest, I never actually published it. For a couple reasons. One, the reality is it’s not a network of my closest friends. It’s a network of other power users like me, familiar with the platform that I have known socially or online in some capacity.  So they really aren’t the people I want to show my dark side to. Also, I don’t hit publish because it makes me feel bad that that’s the only reason why I go to open the app… ever. There should never be a network directly associated with my need to vent. Even if it’s very, very cryptic venting.

My community is on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. It does me no good to worry about the Path network because if those people want to know what’s up with me they will check my usual social footprints. Occupying this network that I don’t intend to use in a healthy and productive manner would be like frequently attending networking events to talk sh*t the whole time. (To those of you who do this, I know this great social network for you…)

Sorry to my Path friends. Tweet me later.


  1. jayrowsey

    Great post. I tried to do Path for a while but just couldn’t get into it for some reason. Hope you have a great day!

    1. Schmittastic

      @heatherdesantis haha indeed I am. Sounds like a plan! Send me an email and let’s make a plan. amy at savvysexysocial dot com

  2. I dig it. I “ignore” most all requests to connect there and only use it to share more personal stuff. I have 5 followers on Path and use it daily.
    But your diagnosis is correct, all the peeps I connect with there have a strong bias towards emotional/psychological discussion. Very emotion heavy. 

    1.  @AdamLehman Glad you agree with me, Adam. (P.S. Not sure who I haven’t responded to you yet here. Sorry!) I understand the idea that if this network consists of your closest friends then you might default to thinking this is a good place to share those things that the “public” wouldn’t usually hear from you, but it’s really just annoying for everyone else… even though they are being passive aggressive as well, likely.

  3. Goettemoeller

    @schmittastic I’m a fan. Is it for power users? Yes, but it’s nice to talk to people w/o all the typical marketing. Feels like F-book ’06

  4. Nicole Wonderlin

    I love that Path describes itself as: “The simple and private way to share life with family and close friends.” I guess it’s for when talking, calling, texting, Facebooking, and Tweeting aren’t enough…lol

  5. aschweig

    Interesting. That hasn’t been my experience at all. I find myself using Path for many of the things I used to use Facebook and Twitter for (especially sharing more “personal” stuff, photos in the moment, check-ins, that sort of thing).
    I also like that it’s easy to share from Path to other social networks, so I can say, for example, that I don’t think I’ve even opened Foursquare since I’ve started using Path more regularly. It also became more useful for me after I met more people at SXSW who were actually actively using it and started following some of them.
    Like most social networks I think it does depend who you follow and interact with, and ultimately it is just a tool so whether it lives or dies depends on what people decide to use it for. I agree with you that it does still feel very early adopter-y, so it remains to be seen whether it can or will grow beyond that.
    I’m also curious to see what happens when people start running up against the 150 friend cap…people are so used to having no limit on the number of “friends” they have on social networks and forcing people to make tough decisions about who their friends really are (or, I suppose, what value they add) is interesting, to say the least.

    1.  @aschweig Thanks for your comment, Adam. You’re absolutely correct that who you follow matters in this situation just like any other network, but even more so. When you’re limited only a certain number of contacts, you would probably be more selective about who you add and also find that you’ll then hear more from certain people when you don’t have a lot of other contacts to be the filler content to those posts.
      I think in a situation where you do want a more intimate place to share ideas, photos, thoughts, etc. this is perfect. But I really don’t find that I need it at all in that way and that’s what I would rather do on a phone call with a friend. With everything else, I am usually more than happy to share everything with everyone following me on Facebook, Twitter, or my fan pages.
      It’s funny when you talk about Foursquare in this way, because I agree with you except that my 3rd party is usually Instagram. When I want to check in, 90% of the time I want to share a picture, and 100% of the time I want to share it with the Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook communities. So there’s no way I could get Path into that routine, but I understand what you’re saying about it being your go-to place to check in and spread the word in that way.
      Really appreciate your thoughts, Adam. Have a great week!

      1. aschweig

         @schmittastic Ah, but I’m an Android user! 😉
        So we’ll see how this all changes once I actually have Instagram (someday…).

        1.  @aschweig Very true! But I think you’ll be getting that app soon. Who knows. Maybe the Android version (supposedly better??) will have a Path connection.

  6. alliepal

    I don’t use Path anymore because I found myself being followed by those that I already follow on Twitter. All I saw was repeat posts from Twitter. Then I’d sometimes stumble upon the same photo on Instagram…followed by Facebook.
    I think it has great potential if you (and all the people you share with) are using it as a unique social network. 
    Just my thoughts 🙂

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