Last night I spent three hours hanging out with old high school friends. It was a really good time. And the whole meet-up was organized through the glorious world of Facebook.
I have to confess that high school was not my favorite time of life. Sure, there were good times, but I was a typical teenage girl who lived amidst ridiculous teen angst. From body issues to self-esteem to the always present desire to “fit in,” I was your very typical teenage girl. I’m not really proud of that, but it is what it is. How many of us wish that we could go back and tell our teen selves that none of that mattered? That in twelve years, no one would really care what you were like at 16? In the grand scheme of life, high school is so very small, but didn’t it seem so big back then? So, admittedly, it was with a little trepidation that I went to the meet up last night. I just didn’t know what to expect. But you know, it’s amazing what a little maturity will do for a group of people. Of the twenty or so people that were there, I really only knew two of them. The others I remembered but can’t say I had any sort of relationship with outside of the school walls. And yet we all sat there, talking like dear old friends, not judging or gossiping, but genuninely enjoying one another’s company. I was pleasantly surprised. And I stayed much longer than I thought I would. I was amazed at how many people were doing really cool things. One guy works for the Grammy’s, another lives and works in India. There were a couple of New York arcitecht’s (I cannot figure out how to spell that word!) and a girl who was one of Bush’s appointee’s in his transportation department. There was an engineer who was in the process of building a robot and a writer for Hallmark. It was really fascinating to hear what everyone ended up doing with their lives.
I love Facebook for the way that it reconnects people like this. I love Facebook for the same reason that many people hate it. I love getting “friended” by people I went to high school with even if we were never actually friends in the first place. Perhaps it’s a little voyeristic of me, but I like to see what people are up to. I like to see who’s married and who’s got kids. I like to catch a glimpse into the lives of these people that I knew so very long ago. I like to see if the class clown is still a goofball and what the guy I had a secret crush on is doing these days. And I am assuming that since they friended me, they want to do the same thing. They simply want to know who I’ve become. It’s curiosity. It’s the reunion without the awkward conversations. So, in general, I rarely ignore a friend invitation unless I just absolutely cannot remember the person. If I have no idea who you are the novelty of peeking into your life wears off. Do I communicate with all the people I am “friends” with? No. But, to me, that’s not totally the point. I communciate with the people I want to communicate with and that’s been a great joy. Today I am going to lunch with three girls that were dear friends back then and we just lost touch over the years. But now, thanks to Facebook, we will be enjoying one another’s company. What a great thing! The others who I don’t communicate with are just a satisfaction to my overwhelming curiosity.
So there you have it. Is it a little weird? Yes, I belive it is. But in the age of social media, where everyone’s lives are playing out publicly, it’s a new norm and I, personally, think it’s a little fun.