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Facebook and the death of the high school reunion

December 13, 2012
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So, have you found yourself wondering what everyone has been up to since high school? Are you ready to see where old friends have been, rekindle the old and lost friendships, see who has kids, has an awesome job? No? Me either.

Thanks to Facebook, everyone already knows what everyone has been up to. Literally, every single day is another high school reunion in itself if you just have a quick scroll through your Facebook news feed.

There’s no curiosity, no surprises and I’m not sure if it’s enough to make people feel like making time to go out to the reunion is worth it. Sure, once upon a time when the connections were completely cut off, you might be a little curious. After you see the high school reunion letter come in the mail you might be wondering what that one person has been doing with their life. But you’re not, because you already know. Also, physical mail? Don’t even get me started on that.

My high school reunion letter resulted in a quick laugh before It found its way to the trash. Besides, if the possibility of anything actually happening were to take place, everyone would know about it through Facebook.

So how about someone who experienced the high school reunion pre-Facebook? I asked Sue Bamford, 51, about her experience. She said she decided to go to her 5 year reunion. She wanted to “see what everyone was doing with their lives”. She also mentioned she married her high school boyfriend at the time, and it just seemed like a fun idea to go back together and see all their friends together. Today, she admitted to using Facebook to look up old friends, but either way she doesn’t think she’s going to another reunion.

Next I decided to talk to someone younger, with an up and coming reunion. Kim Palm, 22, a recent college graduate says she “hasn’t even thought about her high school reunion”. Granted she didn’t get any letters about it yet, she still has another year before she would hear anything about her 5 year reunion anyway. But it’s not really something to think about anymore. She says “I feel like it’s not really necessary because of Facebook, I can keep up with any old friends easily even if they’re out of state”. Kim says there is a possibility she might make it out to a 10 year, or maybe a 20 year reunion, but that’s even if there is a push to have one anymore. It might be nice to see everyone face to face she says.

Sure some face time as well as some away time from the computer time might be nice for everyone. But it sure seems like the element of curiosity is lost forever. If anything, already awkward conversations may be just that much more awkward when you know everyone already knows everything. Conversations will contain much more of “Yeah I saw that!” rather than “Wow I can’t believe that!”. So, are you going to your high school reunion?

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