It’s not that we don’t love to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues, or that we don’t love to share a part of ourselves online. … Creatures of habit, mostly social by nature, we love the connection we feel with others, the community, and the sense of accomplishment that we get when our photos, our memories, and little pieces of our lives are “liked” – validation for a job well done, a life well lived.

It’s that the business model of advertiser-based, algorithm-driven, troll-riddled interaction just isn’t cutting it any more. It’s time for a change.

According to recent surveys, the world is getting tired of being the product. Pew research finds that only 51% of US youth aged 13-17 on Facebook, more of them opting for the cooler, younger Instagram (http://bit.ly/2NWuxzU). The problem is: those platforms are really not much different when it comes to mining data. The general rule is that when it’s free, you are the product.

So, what is the alternative? Will people actually pay for the right to privacy online? Can a subscription model really work? We think so, and here’s why:

Unlike free services, provided by the “tech giants,” there are services where you pay a small fee for the right to your own information. Idka is one of them. For less than the price of most cloud storage, for example, Idka gives you storage, plus all the functionality of social media – with full privacy – all on one platform.

But it’s not just about paying for privacy. We have to learn a new way of interacting online. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are so popular because they not only bringing us together with friends in family, they also provide a public platform for sharing information or interacting with news and others.

A private online world is more like being in a neighborhood. You have to be invited into people’s homes. Their doors aren’t just open for anyone to walk in and look around. Or if you’re at work, you can collaborate in boardrooms and share, but not just anyone can walk into that boardroom and hear what’s going on. You share certain information only with your family or certain groups of friends.

Right now, people are used to being able to see whatever others post and share with minimal discrimination or filters. In a private online world, we will have to get used to communicating in groups. When we post something, it doesn’t automatically go to everyone in our circle. We must learn to post some things to colleagues. Some to family. Some to friends. Others to the groups we’ve created, like health groups or school groups.

If we want to take our privacy back, we’re going to have to do two things: 1) pay for products online so we’re not the product, and 2) get used to different behaviors online such as communicating in groups rather than on a mass scale.

If you want to start engaging online while staying private and safe, gather your colleagues or friends and family, and give Idka a try while it’s free.