I saw an interesting article today on STLToday.Com on how social networking sites may be competing with high school class reunions. A very interesting phenomenon indeed because I can personally relate to the feelings described in the article. Ever since I’ve been on Facebook I’ve connected with a lot of my former classmates (both high school and college). Considering how easy it is to share pictures, music, art, humor, stories of pets etc. on social networks, I’ve had a pretty good peek into the lives of some of my former classmates. It’s been an eye opening experience for the most part.
The STLToday article points out that, becuase of the ease with which people can re-connect with past relationships and contacts, some are now reluctant to attend reunions. This is becuase they’ve already re-visited the relationship and had a chance to get caught up on the changes in everyone’s lives. For many, getting caught up is one of the main reasons to attend a reunion in the first place. While not wanting to attend reunions may be true for some folks but I personally fall into the category of those who is now eager to attend the next reunion becuase Facebook has whet my appetite.
It’s actually more than that for me becuase through Facebook I’ve found “new” friends among the old contacts. I’ve learned that with time, people change, and that what you thought of them back when you were 17 wasn’t really true. I’m more eager to meet up with folks whom I never really thought I could be friends with, but now 10-15 years later appear to be much more interesting and fascinating. Through the twists and turns of life they’ve made decisions and followed paths which seems to have brought us closer in our thinking, attitudes and perspectives in life. I will admit though, there are still a few that were EXACTLY what I thought they were, many are in fact much different. However, there are fewer of these in my circle of connections.
I would like to think my perspective is the more dominant view. With more and more people on social networks, the opportunity to connect with past relationships is ever more likely. I would like to think that with increased exposure and connection via social networking sites people are tearing down assumptions about each other and starting a new page. Consequently bringing people to the point where there is now a desire to connect in the “real” world. In the greater scheme of things I would like to think that technology in the form of social media is bringing people together and fostering a greater sense of understanding.
What about you? Will you be more likely to attend a high school reunion becuase of social networking? Or, are you less inclined today than ever before?
Photo courtesy: scarlatti2004 (on Flickr)