Passing the Friend Test

Everyday, nearly 50,000 friendships are formed on Path. That means at this point, Path represents millions and millions of friendships.

At least some of these millions of people must be a lot like me. When I started working in tech, at Path, nine months ago, I had an interesting relationship with technology. I was dependent on it, certainly, but I didn’t love it. Technology was something that interrupted my real life, that stole time from real passions and being with the people I cared about. This sentiment is exactly why Path spoke to me. When I open Path, I feel the same way I do when I see my family and best friends, because that’s exactly who I see.

I treaded lightly my first weeks at my new workplace and prayed they wouldn’t discover their grand mistake. I heard she won’t read on a Kindle! She’s never seen Star Wars! But somehow I was accepted, I learned the speak, and all these months later, I’m still here, a little smarter and with newfound appreciations. I can now pick Chewbacca out of a lineup, and I organize my iPhone apps by color, but my friends say that on a good day they still recognize me.

And most importantly, I can say I am part of something that is fostering millions of relationships. I can’t help but feel moved by that. Indulge me while I tell you the story about my best friend. It’s relevant, because my best friend works at Path. Sure, we gossip by the coffee machine and show up at the office in the same outfit, but Path isn’t where the story started. Not even close.

Nell and I met in the sixth grade. We bonded over Mr. Big and the Clash and a secret stash of Cosmopolitan magazines. I played soccer, she rode horses, but we both loved sleepovers and books beyond our reading level. Technology had no role in our friendship. When Nell went to boarding school and then moved to Scotland for college, we were bad at emailing and video chatting. When we did use technology to keep in touch it was because it was the only option. We were best when we were together.

Until Path. It has proved to be something intimate enough for two people who know each other inside and out, who are together everyday, who share clothes and journals and memories of middle-school dances. Since we started using Path, we have become even closer. We keep tabs on one another as we explore the city, sharing a mural or burrito that reminds us of the other. Nell is an overly modest photographer. I used to have to beg her make extra darkroom copies for my collection. Now Nell snaps photos with her phone every day, and more often than not, they are no short of breathtaking. I like to write. I rarely used to share, but this year Nell has become my best reader. And we have Path to thank for this.

Maybe tech isn’t your thing, maybe it is. But friendship is everyone’s thing. Something truly essential. 50,000 friendships a day! And counting!

- Leigh Lucas, Path