We remember Google not letting us comment on a YouTube video until we signed up to its barren and now extinct social media platform like it was yesterday, if only in the sense that it’s one of the last memories we have of it.
It meaning nothing to almost everyone is a hallmark that makes laying Google+ to rest quite uniquely painless. If it were a person, you’d only see a sprinkling of relatives at its funeral. You’d stare down blankly at the order of service as the vicar routinely summarised its life, which would in this case involve a lament that 90% of people’s interactions with it lasted less than five seconds.
It actually takes some doing for something to make such a small impact out of the traditionally radical act of ceasing to exist. Even the recent loss of data on MySpace caused some disturbance – but, then again, that’s where many of us cut our social media teeth. Our first love. Maybe we had it in our heads we’d go back to it one day, and now it’s thrown out all our old Kate Nash singles.
But very few will miss Google+. You could feel its lonely presence even if you never went there. A cyber equivalent of latter-day Blockbuster branches; echoing spaces of tiled carpets and tiled ceilings that played host to an energy borrowed from purgatory. URL or IRL, four seconds is all some places need to send you into total existential collapse.