Social network sites might make it easier to stay in touch with people, although they aren’t the only methods of doing so. There are several programs one can use for chatting with people individually. Why then, should there be a need for adding people on a social network page? One possible reason is how the social network sites make it easier to share information with several people at the same time, instead of contacting them one by one.
Before Facebook and Twitter, a lot of my friends would use Livejournal – a page for writing journal-like entries and finding people with shared interests. While this page has not grown to the size of Facebook, it still has a pretty large community of users. It functioned as a diary of sorts, and you could choose who had access to the entries you posted. Soon everyone had Facebook and Twitter though, and if you didn’t have one you were missing out. And that’s how the situation has become nowadays. If you don’t use any of the social network sites, you’re not “following the times”. When did it become like this? I’ve experienced people around me who initially had no desire to get Facebook or similar pages end up getting it in the end anyway, because if one does not have at least one way of communicating through these social network sites nowadays, one is essentially left with the short end of the stick.
The social network sites seem to have become almost essential in a way to keep in touch and up to date with recent happenings. Whether this is a good or bad thing, however, remains to be seen.