Vancouver-based Just10 has unveiled a new social network that promises to be ad free, to never track your movements for selling to third-party marketers, and to emphasize privacy through end-to-end encryption.
And as the name suggests, you are limited to 10 friends.
Anyway, how many of those people in your existing social network are actually your friends?
Outside of blood relatives, you may be able to count your inner circle of friends on the fingers of one hand. Everyone else falls into the category of “acquaintances”.
Add to that circle the layer of avatars who you basically don’t know at all, and your idea of a “social life” is probably quite different than what it was in the time before social media.
A study published through the Royal Society backs that hunch up with actual data, finding that “online social networks remain subject to the same cognitive demands of maintaining relationships that limit offline friendships.”
The study’s authors write, “We can only interact coherently with a very small number of other people (about three, in fact) at any one time,” adding “that even in an online environment, the focus of our attention is still limited in this way.”
If you’re at all concerned, too, about potential employers vetting your candidacy while looking at every drunken or inappropriate photo of you posted online, Just10 will come as a relief.
Your data on Just10 is not public-facing or searchable, and everything you post automatically disappears after 10 days.
Founded by Vancouver entrepreneur Frederick Ghahramani, Just10 wrapped up a beta period in New Zealand before launching to the general public the other day.
Ghahramani comes by his privacy advocacy honestly, having donated $1 million during the last election campaign to groups working to repeal Bill C-51, including Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, OpenMedia.ca, and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa’s law faculty.
He is also the person who recently purchased at auction that infamous nude painting of Stephen Harper. Yes, he is that guy.
“We felt that it was impossible for people to freely express themselves if everyone in the world is watching and judging,” said Ghahramani. “I don’t want my kids’ futures undone by something stupid they might say in the heat of the moment. And I want them to have a safe space online where they can freely express their ideas and opinions, without fear of being profiled and tracked by advertisers looking to exploit their data, hiring managers looking to profile their personalities, or even jealous exes.”
Writing on Just10’s blog, Ghahramani acknowledges that the site is still developing features through user feedback, “but today we’ve reached a point where we can proudly and publicly hang our shingle and let the world know what we’re trying to achieve.”
The other day, Facebook celebrated its 12th birthday. Did you celebrate? No, you didn’t celebrate.
Like any 12-year-old, Facebook’s character has changed from being cute to being more than just a little unreasonably demanding.
Thanks to Facebook, we have all adopted the ethos of marketing into our day-to-day personal lives, meaning that we now think of ourselves as brands that have a certain reach and influence.
I know, you didn’t create this world, you just live in it. But you can say still no to things every once in a while and shed about 50 pounds of mental weight.
We don’t know what Facebook will be like during its teenage years, but odds are that it will not be pretty.
Your actual teenage child, of course, you could never simply delete out of existence. But Facebook?
If you’re interested in downsizing, or just taking a little palate cleansing break from the non-stop oversharing of online social life, you might think about giving Just10 a try.