Path: Perhaps the best-known private social network is Path. This smartphone-based social network limits your friends list to 150--the maximum number of friends a human being can realistically keep track of, according to studies. By virtue of being small, Path is one of the more private social networks you can join. But you'll have to choose your friends wisely. Path may not also be as private as it once was. Users this week complained that a 2-month-old feature of the Path app that lets you invite contacts to join the network is actually spamming their address books with mass texts. Path says the texts are the result of user error.
Nextdoor: If you want to restrict your social network communication to people you know in real life, the neighborhood social network Nextdoor might be right for you. Nextdoor requires all members to verify their address (the service sends you a physical postcard with a code on it) before allowing them to join their neighborhood's group. As a result of this structure, the only people you can talk to on Nextdoor are those who live within shouting distance of your house.
Privacy...the choice is yours
Privacy-minded people don't have to give up social networking. Plenty of options exist for friends, families, and even couples who want to communicate privately. But the key is to make sure that you really want privacy. Some portion of the appeal of social networking to most people is exhibitionist; so before you go to ground, make absolutely sure that you don't harbor any latent fantasies of seeing your videos go viral?
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