ABC Family Changes Its Name To Freeform

ABC Family Changes Its Name To Freeform

And I hate it.

While I was watching ABC Family's "25 Days of Christmas" this past December, the Disney-owned network announced that it would be changing its name to “Freeform” in January 2016. After 30 years of being named “ABC Family,” the station decided to change its name in order to get rid of its “family” persona. Well, why would they want to do that? Many viewers willingly choose to flip to the ABC Family channel in order to watch feel-good, family-oriented movies.

Freeform is currently targeting an audience between the ages of 14 and 34, which they refer to as “Becomers.” In a recent press release, the network stated that “Becomers represent a life stage rather than a generation” and that “in five years, millennials will be less than half of the target.” Hello people, get a grip. We viewers are coming to you to watch "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," not "Die Hard."

But why the name Freeform? The station was attracted to the so-called elusiveness of the name. “The audience's identity and experience are fluid as they explore endless possibilities and their passions take shape,” the network said in a press release, “Freeform personifies this fluidity and will deliver ideas, forms of content and ways of interacting with the brand.” Sounds like a bunch of hogwash to me. Freeform by definition means not conforming to a regular or formal structure or shape. Is the network that desperate in daring to be different?

Freeform has promised to keep some of ABC Family’s most popular television shows such as "Pretty Little Liars," "Switched at Birth," and "The Fosters," mostly because they were the few shows targeted toward a teenage demographic. However, the shows will reflect Freeform’s focus on Becomers. For example, the setting of Pretty Little Liars will fast-forward 5 years to focus on the post-college years. Now they are changing the storyline to a staple TV show? Back off, Freeform.

Even though ABC Family President Tom Ascheim said the change would be more of an evolution (no families necessary) than anything else, it sounds like Freeform is just plain breaking tradition. Plus, I personally find the name Freeform uninviting and unappealing. A good friend once told me, “Don’t change what’s not broken.” Therefore, I’m going to have to give ABC Family’s name change a big ol’ thumbs-down.

Cover Image Credit: Business Insider

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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