News has it that Friendster faces its last day as a social networking site today, May 31, 2011. Reflecting on what I feel about this, I thought I shouldn’t feel too sad. After all, I did say goodbye to Friendster more than 2 years ago. I won’t be even needing the Friendster Exporter, an application offered to members for compressing years of memories into a downloadable file. But all the same and perhaps more, the memories had been secured in my time capsule, which had been retrieved by my dear “Gyun Woo” at the right time.
I had reasons for deleting my account and believe me, it wasn’t a very easy decision. It’s just that a lot of things can happen in five years. I was introduced to the network by sis. Dian, back in December 2004 when the site was still fresh and its growth was quite viral. I wasn’t too choosy with friend requests either and I have to admit, half of my friends list was perhaps strangers. On one occasion, after the 2005 National Youth Convention (NYC) in May, I received a message and friend request from Nilo. That was how I met the man I love most. You see, this premise alone would justify the value Friendster has to me. It served as the connecting ground for us even though we were separated miles apart. He was asking how the NYC went that year, for that was the first year that Nilo wasn’t able to participate in the Church activity.
What started as an innocent inquiry turned into interests for each other. Inspecting his Friendster profile, it was quite disappointing to see how fairly minimalist it was without much info to delve into. He had but three pictures, one of which was a camel’s. He had but a handful of testimonials too, nothing compared to mine where some anxious suitors even bravely confessed. His description of himself was as simple as “simple” though it was a relief that his status was not “it’s complicated.” What struck me though, his answer to the famous one liner “Who I Want to Meet:” was “My Sassy Girl.” Now that was a bit different to the usual “friends, classmates, families” and the like.
Since then, our relationship was similar to the frequency I updated my profile account, which was on and off. We were nothing more than best friends but his frequent tantrums would cause us silence that could stretch for months. When the dark ages in my life happened, he wasn’t around to be aware. Until one day, I decided to reach out. Despite the distance, our friendship needed not much restoration though, maybe because we were really destined for each other.
When the storm of the dark ages subsided, I started picking up remnants of my life. Not everything could be restored I realized, and so I needed to let go of the others. This included my Friendster account. As I’ve said before, it wasn’t easy and I had second thoughts. But while I was browsing through my profile, I realized there was just too much mess to clean up that it was better to just delete the entire thing. So one by one, I kept the good memories in my time capsule.
By and by, Nilo retrieved the time capsule and discovered the painful tragedy I went through. In the process, his love for me became confirmed and gradually, he too slowly healed. One day he decided to delete his Friendster account too with much gratitude. There was no more need for a social networking site looking for the person he wanted to meet. He found her and would not let her go anymore. I was his Sassy Girl. We fell in love with each other.
And now, Friendster’s finally saying goodbye too. Not that it’s totally closing down, but it’s changing its format from a social networking site to a media hub. Nevertheless, it will always be the Friendster I know of, such that when I hear the name, it will draw me back to when I was 5 years younger. Whether a social site or media hub, testimonials and all, it’s complicated or not, my shout out will always be, Friendster Forever. 🙂