There are over 10,000 social networking websites out there, ranging from your local interest groups to upper echelon forums such as Facebook and Twitter. And, they each seem to have a recurring theme: just what are your friends; your neighbors; your hair stylist; your boss; your cousin’s boyfriend i.e. other people up to? “We have grown addicted to minding the business of others,” says Kirt Hale (age 33), former behavior therapist and founder of ThinkProbability. “Where’s our ‘me-time’ when it comes to the internet and social media?”
Hale has developed an idea and potentially a new market which is juxtaposed to online social networking. He calls it intrapersonal networking. Intrapersonal networking is self-defined by Hale as, “a relationship structure centered upon responding to the behaviors of an individual who serves as the head of a network.” Now, just how is this different from social networking? Social networking services tend to focus on individuals building interpersonal relationships with one another; whereas, an intrapersonal network would focus on the individual building symbiotic relationships.
The idea of online intrapersonal networking is most evident in the social media platform called ThinkProbability or ThinkProb for short. Users on ThinkProb develop symbiotic relationships with a computer directory and/or their Advisors by asking comparative choice questions and receiving feedback from a database or subject matter expert. Interactions on the network tend to primarily benefit the individual user, as communications are limited to either giving or receiving advice. Moreover, the design of the interface i.e. no news feed; no streaming pictures; no method of accessing other user profiles….makes the forum “quiet” and intrapersonal.
The social media site is currently in beta-testing and due to officially launch sometime in March. Hale along with the co-founder of ThinkProb, Saa Musa, is claiming that intrapersonal networking will be the premiere alternative for online users looking to get away from the drama of their Facebook and Twitter pages. But with those two social media giants continuing to account for nearly 2 billion users world-wide, we will just have to keep a watchful eye on this little tech start-up.