I loathe Facebook. Actually, I loathe what Facebook has become. No longer is it a useful tool for connecting with others. Instead, it’s polluted with obnoxious macro images and tacky quotes followed by comments that typically say “so true”. Admittedly, I keep certain individuals on my Facebook friend list for the same exact reason that I stop and say hello to acquaintances at the grocery store: to be polite. Unfortunately, their virtual shopping carts often get in the way of the people who I actually want to stay close to.
For instance, there’s my girlfriend, and we share humorous videos with each other on nearly constant basis. Then there are my parents. Naturally, I have a few cousins here and there, and I even have a few great-uncles and great-aunts. If I could get rid of the fluff and stay connected only with them, that would be a-okay. After a bit of research, I discovered that a few family alternative to Facebook exist. Read on for the benefit of your social media experience.
Couple is something that’s a bit more in line for those of you who have a romantic partner. Besides its incorporation of a few groan-inducing mushy features, it’s actually very useful. Packaged in the form of a mobile app, Couple allows you to share photos with your SO, schedule dates on a shared calendar, and even create lists and memos.
Regarding the mush, it has the ability to let you and your lover share a “ThumbKiss” – that is, you press your thumb against your phone’s screen, and a thumbprint will appear in a relative location on your partner’s device. The idea is to have you both press your thumbs on the same part of the phone, allowing for a rather technologically tender moment.
Path expands into life beyond your relationship and into the area of close friends (however, you could likely use it as a couple). Once again, this comes in the form of a mobile app, and it allows for a more streamlined social experience. For comparison, imagine Facebook as if it’s your local favorite restaurant and Path as if it’s the corner coffee shop.
Both serve food and drinks, but the as you can tell, the respective crowds are quite different. Path allows for nearly the same exact functions as Facebook, but it’s free from distractions. As described by its developers, it’s a personal journal – a path for your life.
Moving on into the world of family (something that we all occasionally know and love), there’s Family HQ. Developed for only your closest loved ones, Family HQ openly focuses on the concept of “narrowcasting”. In short, narrowcasting is the complete and total opposite of broadcasting.
With broadcasting, you send out information to a large group with the idea that your message will be picked up by those who want to listen. On the other hand, with narrowcasting, you send out information to a small group with the idea that your message is important to each member. It’s simple stuff, really. With hefty privacy policies and a focus on your own virtual castle, Family HQ could be a great way to stay connected on a more personal level.
Rootsy – bearing a clever name, mind you – stretches the limits of social networking by incorporating family trees and various elements of internal record-keeping. Rather than just keeping you connected to the surviving members of your clan, the website keeps you connected, well, to your roots.
The service is still a social network through and through, but instead of one, giant web, it’s comprised of several mini-networks for individual families. Furthermore, it pushes forward the whole idea of tracking your family history, offering areas to add important images and family stories.
So there you have it, folks. It is very possible to get past the clutter and connect with the ones that matter most. It may just take a bit of initiative on your part and the willingness of others. Think of it as a pioneering type of movement – to venture beyond the world of Facebook! Besides, it gives you an excuse to get rid of hacked accounts and cluttered walls. You may even decide to permanently delete your account.
Even still, Facebook could easily incorporate some of these sites’ features. Perhaps a separate feed or an option to hide everyone that isn’t related to you at the click of a button. We’ll just have to see.
What do you think? Do you believe these are good family alternative to Facebook to stay connected with those who are closest to you? What other services do you use?