The news today was that the social media site Friends Reunited is set to close soon after it appeared to be left behind by the technology developments. It is a little sad to think that after 16 years it will cease to exist. But perhaps it is a reminder that social networks have a shelf life and if they fail to keep fresh then they will be thrown away by users.
I never really got into Friends Reunited because of a few horror stories that I had been told and the fact that I still see some of my classmates in person. It didn’t really matter that I never joined as I heard a lot about it from friends. Back in 2000 when the site was first launched it was new and innovative presenting a way of re-establishing connections. But nowadays there are many other social networks that can do the same thing, and also do much, much more.
Sixteen years ago we didn’t have Facebook or Twitter and the likes of Instagram and Snapchat were a long way away. It was another four years before Facebook appeared and six before we had Twitter. The marketplace for social networks is now very crowded and Friends Reunited really has lost its unique selling point.
It made me think the unthinkable and wonder whether Facebook or Twitter may disappear in a few years. If they fail to keep refreshing and providing new things, new functions and don’t develop the product they could go the way of Friends Reunited. Just because they have become such a part of modern life doesn’t give them any more claims to exist than any other network.
So, farewell Friends Reunited and thank you for what you did to develop social networks but time moved on and you didn’t. All other social networks should look at the development and learn the lessons – adapt and survive.
On a slightly separate note today is Blue Monday. This appears to be another marketing idea from organisations or businesses. Today is supposed to be one of the most depressing days of the year. However, it is worth remembering that the days are only what we make them. So if we allow ourselves to be taken in by this and feel today is a depressing day then we have only ourselves to blame. It really is time to put that to one side and think about all the things you have to be grateful for, and that might raise a smile.