Facebook Can't Kill High School Reunions

high school reunion I cannot believe that next year, 2012, will mark my 10-year high school reunion. But it may not matter. Because no one believes reunions matter anymore, thanks to social media. Seems as though lots of people are now saying, "Meh, we've got Facebook, which is basically like a 24/7/365 digital high school reunion. Why do we have to plan or even just schlep to the real deal?" They figure they can already figure out what anyone (friend, frenemy, or enemy) in their graduating class is now doing -- whether that's having become a rock star, a reality star, or a Starbucks barista-slash-aspiring actress -- with one little click of the "Info" tab on their favorite social network.

But I beg to differ. If you want to know the actual TRUTH about your former classmates, a reunion is a must-do.


I don't believe anyone's online identity is ever the complete truth. Studies have even shown people often portray themselves as happier, sexier, thinner, etc. on Facebook. The site has never and will never reflect reality -- or who your junior year lab partner is now -- completely. That job your sleazy ex-boyfriend got fired from? He's not going to post that. Those high school sweethearts' whose engagement fell apart? They could easily skip the whole change from "In a relationship" to "Single" and simply scrap their relationship status altogether. 

Not that high school reunions are just about schadenfreude -- taking pleasure in others' misfortunes. But admit it, you do want to know about those things. And more often than not, that's info that won't be yours for the stalking online.

More importantly, though, you can't interact with people on Facebook the same way you might over some crappy hors d'oeuvres and beer, set to the tune of Usher's "U Got It Bad." You can't find out that your sense of humor is still dead-on in sync with that kid you forgot about from AP English. You can't dance the night away with your best pal from the newspaper staff with whom you once bonded over Bruce Springsteen and fictional female superheroes. There's no app for any of that. You have to actually go hang out in person for those face-to-face, potentially very fun experiences.

Sure, Facebook's supposed to keep us in touch with old friends, but as far as reunions go, it's only a substitute if you don't mind a fuzzy connection at best.

Do you think Facebook is a substitute for reunions?


Image via Collin Harvey/Flickr

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