Love in the Time of Cholera, Social in the Time of COVID

The plot in the Gabriel Garcia Márquez masterpiece Love in the Time of Cholera hinges on the vagaries of communication and social contact. In the current drama of the Coronavirus pandemic, safe and private communication is even more critical, especially as social contact becomes rarified and even perilous.

With social distancing, everyone we know is spending more time with social networking as an alternative for actual face-to-face interaction. The human need for connection is universal, and for most of us isolation is psychologically perilous. But people are also complaining that the degree of connection and level of communication they experience on the leading social platforms is less than satisfying. Why is that?

It’s true that electronic connection cannot supply all of the dimensions of human connection — online versions of touch and scent have yet to be perfected. New research on mirror neurons suggests that we may connect with each other via electromagnetic signals when physically close. But much more is missing from our electronic interactions than these subtle dimensions: a quick look at your feed highlights the perfunctory nature of what we share.

We have all learned to be selective with our postings. We have no assurances that our posts are private, even if we are wizards with platforms privacy controls. Our personal information will be sold to the highest bidder, probably multiple times. And we will be pursued on the Internet by advertising related to what we post and view. Why would a knowledgeable user ever share anything confidential or revealing on such a platform? (Ask your teenagers, please).

As we try to stay connected in the face of COVID-19, we need to be able to communicate openly and with confidence that our posts are secure and private, read only by the individuals we want to see them. For instance, a post about family members or ourselves testing positive — shared but without stigma or public consequence. And who would willingly subject themselves and their personal network to advertising for unproven cures and treatments or fake news about infection rates, or even access to foodstuffs and toilet paper.

At Neone we’ve taken a different approach to deliver a social network that guarantees a secure, ad-free and surveillance-free platform completely controlled by the subscriber. Neone is a new, cloud-based social sharing service where your network of friends, family and associates resides in its own encrypted space. Users have complete control over network visibility and participation, by invitation only. Neone makes this radically different social sharing model possible with a modest subscription instead of monetizing its users, their eyeballs or their mouse clicks.

In battling isolation and fear, Neone provides a private, personal connection. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay connected.