I may have mentioned a few times this summer that I was planning on attending my 20th high school reunion this month. Last Saturday night, one of my life long BFFs and I did just that.
I met this BFF on our very first day of high school. I don’t specifically remember meeting her, but she sat in front of my in homeroom, and we had PE and English together immediately following that first homeroom. If that doesn’t seal a friendship, I don’t know what would.
ANYWAY, we went. We were hopeful that more friends from our high school circle would be able to go, but alas, real life gets in the way. Before going, I talked to several people about going, and each time, the subject of Facebook came up.If you’re Facebook friends with casual acquaintances, do you really need to make an effort to see them in person? Without Facebook, I would only be in touch with about five people from high school. With Facebook, I keep tabs on about 20. We don’t talk all that much, occasionally “liking” or commenting on something. Do you really need to see those kinds of Facebook friends in person?
My hairdresser’s take is that Facebook actually makes reunions easier. She told me that before she went to her 40th reunion, she read up on some friends’ walls and then had things to talk about with them. She knew if they were grandparents yet, knew if they had traveled lately and knew where they were living. She said it was nice to cut out the “catch-up” conversation, and just get to the current.
My brother’s take on it (he whose 10-year reunion in next summer) is that Facebook is more than enough. If he’s not chatting someone up on Facebook, why the hell would he want to do it in person?
My opinion was somewhere in the middle – while I don’t make the effort to really connect with a lot of Facebook friends, I do find it fun to catch up with people in person.
So my girlfriend and I went, and we had fun.
At twenty years post high school graduation, social circles from 1991 were erased. About 25% of the class was able to make it, and from what I can tell, we came as ourselves. Attire ranged from shorts to evening wear, and it didn’t matter. Everyone admitted to reading nametags and using the senior picture on it as verification. The yearbook at the entryway was thumbed through a lot. We greeted each other with hugs, because, hell, it’s been TWENTY YEARS. It’s hard to put into words, but there is definitely something about seeing friends from childhood. About seeing friends whose parents you know, whose childhood home you’ve seen, whose siblings you know.
During her opening remarks, the class president even brought up Facebook. And her answer to the question on whether or not it makes reunions obsolete was something to this effect- talking online doesn’t take the place of talking in person and giving people a hug in person. And she was right.
The day after the reunion, there was a flurry of friendship connections made on Facebook. Facebook even somehow knew we’d attended the reunion (an event on FB) and added the fact that “after attending RHS 1991 reunion, _____ & _______ are friends.” Instead of just accepting or extending requests like I usually do, I made a point to post on each and every wall. There are no guarantees that we’ll interact much, but at least we’ll be caught up with each when we meet again in 2021!
(featured image from iconspedia.com)