Friday, August 13, 2010

Is surfing Facebook the new high school reunion?

Last week my high school class held its ten-year reunion. From what I hear, out of a class of approximately 450 people, less than 30 attended. 30 people?!?! To be honest, I never even considered going. It just wasn’t something that sounded interesting to me for a variety of reasons, but when I heard how many of my fellow sultans seemed to share my sentiments I started thinking – what caused such low participation.

Now it’s entirely possible that a lot of people were busy, living out of town, couldn’t find a babysitter, weren’t a fan of the venue, or didn’t want to be reminded of what they looked like in high school with braces, but I would like to offer another possibility. Is it possible that social media, specifically Facebook had something to do with the low attendance? Think about, traditionally a reunion was a chance for everyone to scratch their nosy itch, and find out what everyone else was doing with their lives 10, 20, 30 years out of high school. You could find out who went to college, got married, got divorced, had children, loves their job, traveled the world, got plastic surgery, never grew up…the list goes on and on. But now, in today’s overly connected world, all you need is a Facebook account to learn all of this and much more (in some cases more than you EVER wanted to know).

So I throw the question out there – is social media changing school reunions? Have you attended or do you plan to attend your high school reunions? Do you think social media has made you feel differently about a reunion? Has Facebook mitigated the value of a reunion?


  1. I too was recently invited to my ten year reunion. The invitations were only sent via Facebook and only to those that had the right FB "friends." While I am sure the planners meant well and did not mean to leave dozens uninvited, it probably had something to do with only fourty or so classmates agreed to attend. Even more interesting is that on the day of the reunion, beginning before the reunion was to commence and continuing long after it started, there was a "fight" among my classmates as well as schoolmates from other years. The discussion centered around things like venue, how to plan something with zero money, whether August was the right time to have the reunion, etc. I remained a silent observer because I never would have attended the reunion no matter the details. But I do wonder if there is something more going. Are we so connected electronically that we feel we do not need to have personal contact with our "friends?" I think Lyndsey may be right. Certainly many of my classmates were angry that they did not get the reunion that they envisioned but could not find the time or courage to speak up about it until the day of and on Facebook for all to read! Ah well, maybe our generation just cannot be pleased entirely. Especially, when it comes to hundreds of us at a time.

  2. I think that I'm an exception in that I did attend my 10 year high school reunion recently. It was planned heavily through Facebook, but used more traditional means as well. I'm glad I went and it was very well planned, but it was more an excuse to see the people I've kept in touch with all along than to see the whole graduating class.

    I think that Facebook had made the voyeuristic component of reunions obsolete. If you want to see what has become of people, you can see it in vivid detail on their Facebook page.