Is Facebook A Friend Or Foe of the Class Reunion?

This summer my alma mater will celebrate the graduating class of 1985; I will have my 25th high school reunion. I attended The Buffalo Seminary, a small, private school for girls. There were approximately 30 girls in my graduating class and 120 enrolled girls that year. It was a small school indeed!

The utterance of “high school reunion”  can often result in an assortment of emotions and memories, particularly with such a milestone event like the 25th anniversary class reunion. A few weeks ago the class leader assigned to organize our upcoming reunion asked me if I would help her plan and the event. I said yes. My situation may be unique; our school has always fostered an environment that encouraged the girls to nurture and value friendships long after we departed from the school’s hallowed hallways. I also liked the girls in my class and I enjoyed high school so the thought of attending my reunion does not induce nausea or anxiety as it might for some people. Besides, Facebook has allowed me to network and reconnect with alumnae, faculty and staff.

Nonetheless, I began to wonder, how has Facebook impacted the American custom of the “class reunion”?

The emergence of Facebook has made reminiscing with classmates about the “good old days” immediate and convenient. Many people have “friended” former classmates and alumni on Facebook. Status updates, wall posts and photo uploads allow people to keep in touch and stay abreast of the personal lives of former school pals. Let’s face it, some of us read about the professional and familial comings and goings of old classmates on a daily basis. Not only do you know their career paths and family statuses, in some instances you have likely read about daily culinary experiences as well as the language and physical developments of their children.

It is no longer necessary to wait until the class reunion to ask, “So, what have you been up to since graduation?” If you are on Facebook, you probably already know.  Has the practicality of Facebeook diminished the need or desire for a class reunion?

The social networking site has certainly simplified the task of finding a schoolmate.  Digitized photos can be fun or humiliating to look at. Today you may have have less hair, grayer hair, or a few wrinkles. Hopefully your skin has cleared up, you still have your own teeth and if you can still wear any clothing item from your senior year you deserve a medal.  Nonetheless, Facebook has spawned new life to the 20th century Baby Boomer and Generation X graduating high school classes.

So, are you more or less inclined to attend your high school class reunion in spite of the Facebook virtual reality of “Class of 19??”


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