I was recently perusing the app store, as I sometimes do, and came across a highly rated app that caught my eye. After some research, I was actually surprised that I hadn’t encountered this unique social media application before because I do spend a higher than average amount of time trying to understand the mobile scene. It is called Path and is not that unlike Facebook, only with a few important differences.

The first thing I noticed with Path was the first line in the app description: “Path is the smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love”  It then goes on to explain how it is a new kind of social media experience where everything is always private by default (ouch Facebook) and it is only accessible via mobile devices (currently iPhone and Android). The biggest differentiator between Path and other social media ventures is the fact that you can only have 50 connections (this is apparently based on a study that suggests we only have this many ‘close’ friends at any given time).

Some have also pointed out the similarities between Path and Instagram since there are 12 built-in photo filters to give your snapshots that antique look that everyone is apparently craving. If you post something, your friends have more options than a simple “Like”. You can respond to anything with 5 emotions: smile, frown, gasp, laugh and love.

Outside of these differences, Path is very similar to Facebook. Post stuff. Comment. Avoid your ex-girlfriends.

But what’s with the ‘journal’ drop in the description? A reoccurring theme here at Easy Journaling is the apparent creep of social media into the personal, private journal. They should be separate! Still, I guess Path does make a pretty good point that this app can be a great conglomerator of your life. You can share many different aspects of your thoughts and coming and goings to a small and controlled crowd.

Never, however, would I recommend Path to replace your personal journal or diary. Knowing that anyone- even close friends and families- will read your thoughts and feelings will really stunt what you share. Let’s keep personal journal personal and keep social media a different- albeit related- aspect of our lives.

I do like the idea of Path and will probably even give it a decent shot. It allows you to share with other social media websites whenever you like as well so it’s not like you necessarily have to choose this over Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. One random thought, though. What happens when you get to 50 friends? Sorry granny, my new work buddy just sent me a friend request on Path and someone has got to go…

While you are thinking about that, check out Path’s promo video and sound off in the comments if you “Like” this latest social fad.

Path – Introducing Path 2 from Path on Vimeo.