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High School Reunions — Facebook's Newest Victim?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the would-rather-dine-with-old-friends dept.

Facebook 168

Hugh Pickens writes "For sheer social awkwardness, it's hard to beat finally seeing those people in person that you never liked in high school but are 'friends' with on Facebook. The NY Times reports that both attendance and the number of high school reunions held have dropped in recent years — thanks, some say, to Facebook and similar sites, nobody really has to lose touch anymore. 'There was a Facebook page for my 20-year college reunion, which took place this May,' says Deborah Dietzler. 'I looked at it a couple of times and it didn't seem like anyone I knew would be there, so I lost interest.' 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostalgia,' adds Michael Fox, who attended his 20-year high school reunion in November at a bar in Larchmont, NY to see the adult version of his classmates but was disappointed to find there was little he didn't already know because of Facebook. Others say the familiarity bred by social networking enhance the high school reunion experience. 'It's enticing. It's like a little preview, seeing everyone's life online,' says Holly Goshin. 'And whether you're happy that someone is not doing as well as you or you're happy that they look amazing, you get to see it all in person. Then you can move on with your life.'"

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I doubt it (5, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433628)

I don't go to my high school reunions because the people who are for the most part people I am not interested in meeting again. I went to the first couple and none of the people I had any interest in seeing were there, so I stopped going. I'm not on Facebook (and I am pretty sure that neither are the classmates I would be interested in talking to again).

Re:I doubt it (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433810)

For both my 5 year and 10 year reunions my HS friends and I planned on going to the reunion but ended up drinking too much and deciding not to drive. I have always enjoyed the few friends and a lot of beer gatherings much more then large groups where you feel obligated to talk everyone.

Re:I doubt it (4, Interesting)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433834)

I don't go to my high school reunions because the people who are for the most part people I am not interested in meeting again. I went to the first couple and none of the people I had any interest in seeing were there, so I stopped going. I'm not on Facebook (and I am pretty sure that neither are the classmates I would be interested in talking to again).

You're probably very right with your assumption. However, my experience is that people I didn't like have actually changed for the better. The more experienced you get in life the more human interfaces you can support. See it as if your internal algorithm improved so that not all exceptions bring you to a grinding hold. Instead you actually take pleasure in appreciating the awkwardness lying at the source of exceptions.

Having said that, I'd be very selective in going to reunions myself.

Re:I doubt it (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433932)

You're probably very right with your assumption. However, my experience is that people I didn't like have actually changed for the better.

My experience is that the people I didn't like who I thought have changed for the better haven't changed that much, I'm just more tolerant of their foibles. The people I really hated in high school peaked in high school and they're the same pieces of shit they always were. On the rare occasion I've run into them again they've said something to prove it, without exception.

If you were part of the in-crowd, then surely you can enjoy the popularity contest continuing at your reunion. Otherwise, high school was probably close to hell, and why return? It was a form of slavery and abuse to which I was subjected by legal threat and I'm glad to be shut of it.

Re:I doubt it (3, Funny)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434190)

I discovered I was part of the in-crowd after I graduated from something one of the likable members of the in-crowd said. I went to the same college as several people I graduated with and at one point in college this guy told me something along the lines of "everyone liked you in high school". I had always thought I was unpopular because I hung out with the dweebs, dorks and nerds. Of course that was partly because I was unwilling to hurt their feelings by telling them I didn't want to hang out with them and partly because I often hung out in the computer lab.

Re:I doubt it (3, Insightful)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434852)

High school was effectively prison. "Hey, let's get the D-Block gang back together 10 years after we're all released!" No thanks. My life peaked after I got away from that bureaucratic structured-behavior hell-hole. The friends I had from that time are still my friends, and this may be a shock to some, I still interact with them directly.

If a high school reunion is a good thing for you, by all means, participate. But don't bitch that I don't embrace it, nor complain that I'm ruining *your* reunion by not attending.

Re:I doubt it (5, Interesting)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435108)

Maybe it depends on the jerk.

I've had 2 bullies in school. One was when I was in 7th grade 22 years ago. He was a real snide SOB. Situation got to the point where he attacked me in the locker room, and sometime after that, he ended up going to school somewhere else. A couple of years ago, my sister was teaching school two hours away, and she was having parent-teacher conferences, and this guy is a parent of a kid at her school. Talking to each other, he admitted that he was a real jerk, and he wanted her to let me know that he knows he was in the wrong, and he hoped I could forgive him and know that he wouldn't do it if he could have the second chance.

I have a cousin that I never had a problem with, but has recently admitted that he was a bully to his younger siblings. Is he like that anymore? No.

People do change. I think their are three things that can change those people. One is correct parenting. Considering most individuals don't get a change in parents, this probably doesn't happen much.

The second has to do with getting along in the world that is different than school. In school, all children are equal in status, but different students find ways to be superior in different ways, academically, socially, athletically. Some kids resort to bullying. But when those individuals end up in the real world, and have to get jobs, some realize the error of their ways for different reasons.

For others, it's becoming a parent, and realizing that kids don't deserve to be bullied for things they can't control. I think this especially comes into play when there are multiple children in the family, and parents have to find a balance between the kids. Or a parent that was a bully has a kid that's more likely to be the victim and has to recognize and deal with what it means to be civilized.

Do some people stay the way they were when they were younger? Yep. Do others mature and become better people? Yep.

Concerning getting together with those people, I don't know that it provides any real benefit. It probably just feeds some desire for the past, but if I'm not going to make an effort to see these people again next month, is it really beneficial to go out of my way to get together? Probably not. But as a human, I recognize that history is significant, and that not only holds on a tribal level (for us as a country or family), but it also personally does for me. Given the opportunity, I would like to get together to talk to those people who I considered friends then.

Re:I doubt it (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434222)

I am pretty sure that neither are the classmates I would be interested in talking to again

See it as if your internal algorithm improved so that not all exceptions bring you to a grinding hold.

Like that one about Facebook membership being a mortal sin... Let's hope no one is still hung up on that...

Re:I doubt it (3, Funny)

sempir (1916194) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434228)

The more experienced you get in life the more human interfaces you can support. See it as if your internal algorithm improved so that not all exceptions bring you to a grinding hold. Instead you actually take pleasure in appreciating the awkwardness lying at the source of exceptions.

See...........there's another reason I don't go to them. If someone uttered that in the group I was in I'd sneak away before they figured out I didn't understand WTF they were talking about.

Re:I doubt it (2, Interesting)

dskzero (960168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434570)

I highly doubt you realize how incredibly creepy that comment about algorithms was.

Re:I doubt it (1)

McLoud (92118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435002)

We need a "like" button on slashdot

Re:I doubt it (5, Funny)

glueball (232492) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433928)

I went to my 20th out of morbid curiosity. So did 250 of the 400 in my graduating class as well.

The best story was the two people who had not seen each other in 20 years drunkenly decided to "get nostalgic" in a closet while their respective spouses were still at the bar. Comedic interruption occurs, followed by divorces in the following weeks.

Facebook kept the story alive for all to follow and keep dignity at a minimum.

Thank you Facebook.

Re:I doubt it (4, Insightful)

duguk (589689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433992)

I don't go to my high school reunions because the people who are for the most part people I am not interested in meeting again. I went to the first couple and none of the people I had any interest in seeing were there, so I stopped going.

Probably like many /.ers, I can be very socially awkward and being able to have a few prompts to know what a reunion or social gathering may be like can be really helpful.

Facebook probably has meant I've been more able to enjoy being social when I might otherwise feel uncomfortable.

Re:I doubt it (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434124)

Similar here. I don't think there was ANYONE in my grade at my HS that I would go out of my way to see, and very few I wouldn't object to seeing again. The few people I would go out of my way to see, I found on sites like facebook, however, being in different grades, they wouldn't be at my reunion anyway.

Who even gives a shit about high school anymore? (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434260)

Do most people even really "peak" in high school anymore anyway? Most people go onto college now, and that's where you *really* get to have fun and make friends. The only people who still view high school as their glory days are a handful of losers who end up working down to the plant telling everyone for the hundredth time about how they scored that winning touchdown in the big game that no one even remembers.

Re:I doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434724)

Agreed. Eff Farcebook.

Re:I doubt it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434788)

I've never understood high school reunions, either. I didn't give a damn about the random jackholes that I was forced to share hallways and classrooms with for a few years when I was there. Why in the hell would I care about it later in life? High school is such a tiny, meaningless, short, inconsequential part of one's life that wasting time going to reunions for it seems like having a reunion tomorrow with all the people I met at 7-11 when I stopped for a paper and a coffee last Sunday morning.

I went to school. I graduated. I got the fuck on with my life.

Re:I doubt it (3, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434792)

It was interesting in that for my high school, a lot of people I knew started growing up near the end of senior year - people I hated for most of my high school career started becoming nice around the end of that time.

I was looking forward to my reunion to see how people had changed over the years - most of those whom I was friends with I have kept in touch with, but at my high school's 12-year reunion ("Better late than another 8" was the motto), a few close friends I hadn't seen in a long time were present, and a lot of people whom I didn't get along with that well back then had changed and became great people, and I've kept in touch since then.

Facebook was not in any way detrimental to our reunion. Apparently tradition is that the senior class president is supposed to do reunions, but ours wanted no part of it. As a result, when our 10th rolled around, people were asking "Hey, is there a reunion? What's the deal?" - The interesting thing was, people were asking on Facebook. The year of our 10th is when many people from my graduating class started joining Facebook and friending each other, even creating a group for our high school class.

Planning for our 11th (a year late) commenced on Facebook, although unfortunately the woman who had the lead role in that received a marriage proposal and had to change focus to wedding planning, the reunion for that year kind of fizzled.

The next year, another alumni decided that there WAS going to be a reunion for our 12th year, and she was going to do whatever it took to make it happen. Again - planning commenced on Facebook and thanks to her leadership we had an excellent 12-year reunion.

Without Facebook, that reunion never would have happened.

I double-doubt it (2)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435910)

My class (1976) has never held a reunion -- something to do with the combination of an unusually high proportion of slackers and Southern racial politics -- but what I see of most of my "friends" on Facebook tells me that we're best off being Facebook "friends" and that my hometown is a great place to be from.

Re:I doubt it (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435942)

I was excited about my HS reunion...they I joined their facebook group and quickly decided I really didn't want to spend a few hours with those people.

'Social networking has robbed us of our nostalgia (5, Insightful)

Neitokun (882224) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433656)

So? It seems like every few days we get some article from somewhere that basically amounts to "things are different now". It's also bonus points when the thing that's changed was only something Baby Boomers really experienced, and they act like it was a universal, awesome thing that OH NO THE INTERNETS KILLING NOW.

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (-1)

clonehappy (655530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433750)

No, you're just a douche. Reunions, of any sort, be they class or long lost family members or a friend you lost touch with and didn't see for decades, are part of the human experience. This is part of the reason I don't use Facebook. Not only do I not use it because of the severe privacy implications, but also because if there is something that someone I care about thinks I should know, they can tell me when I see them. Or call me. Or text me. Or send me an email. I just don't need ONE more account to check, password to remember, privacy settings to manage. I have an iPhone, an Android, Google Voice, numerous email accounts, a home address, a home phone number. Facebook is redundant, and everyone I know acts childish on there, so I stay far, far away.

Bonus points: I'm not a boomer, born in the early 80's here.

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (2)

wdef (1050680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433836)

Your criticisms of Facebook are all valid. But when you say that if people had something to tell you then they'd use email/text, the problem is that Facebook is replacing email and text as the primary written social communication media. People are just using these less and less to tell others about that party Saturday night or whatever. They say: "Oh what, you didn't see it on Facebook?". No, I didn't see it. I'm not on FB either and I pay a social price for it. That's plain wrong of course but that's how it is.

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (2)

Neitokun (882224) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433864)

>Facebook is redundant
One thing we agree on. My account there is basically vestigial at this point, used only to communicate with people who don't know me on Twitter or Google Plus and I don't feel like texting.
That said, the first half of your post has nothing to do with the last half. I get that reuniting with someone after a long way away is a nice feeling, but, in terms specifically of high school Reunions, is largely a fake feeling. It's not "Oh, here's my long lost aunt/niece/brother/friend I haven't seen in years, lets catch up", it's "Oh, here's a bunch of people who happened to be born around the same time as me, most of whom I don't care about." Maybe I'm just cynical for my age (I'm only a few years younger than you, born in '85), but most of the people I care about from high school I kept in touch with. The rest were noise to my life.

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434336)

"Oh, here's a bunch of people who happened to be born around the same time as me, most of whom I don't care about."

In other words, its like being excited about moving into a nursing home. Or a cemetery?

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433956)

Reunions, of any sort, be they class or long lost family members or a friend you lost touch with and didn't see for decades, are part of the human experience.

"The human experience"? You sound like you're trying to sell something. It's one possible part of the human experience, but it isn't needed to make you a human.

I just don't need ONE more account to check, password to remember, privacy settings to manage

So instead of having one more account to check that does everything, you have to make 15 phone calls or type 15 texts, or tell the same story 15 times. Sounds like an efficient use of time to me..

Facebook isn't preferred for one on one communications, but it is a great way to organise group meet ups without any hassle or phone/texts costs. For me and my friends, Facebook has taken over from our own forums for organising stuff just because it's so convenient. Not to mention free (no, I don't care if some marketing people know how old I am or what I like to talk about..).

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434340)

Of the ten or so ways you listed for people to contact you, how did you decide that number is the sweet spot and one more is redundant? Or is it simply not wanting to use Facebook, because the way you stated it you'll not be able to have another e-mail address, phone number, etc. Also, if you want to make a point that people on Facebook are childish, I suggest you not start your post with "No, you're just a douche."

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (2)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434596)

What exactly is the human experience? If everyone had to experience the same thing every generation would have to discover fire and how to kill animals that are stronger than us. It seems more like the human experience is to take what the previous generation did and learned for granted and come up with new stuff. Eschewing reunions for facebook is no less human than going to school rather than foraging for food.

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433764)

It's also bonus points when the thing that's changed was only something Baby Boomers really experienced, and they act like it was a universal,.

Not saying I give a shit that no one cares about high school reunions anymore, but they were not a baby boomer thing. Class reunions have been around a couple hundred years, and they've been commonplace in the US since the late 19th century.

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (1)

Neitokun (882224) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433878)

Yeah, but the spectacle of what we call a High School/College reunion now is largely a product of the Boomers.

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (3, Interesting)

dwye (1127395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434726)

Yeah, but the spectacle of what we call a High School/College reunion now is largely a product of the Boomers.

Don't tell that to my parents. They were their HS class president and secretary, and organized their 5th reunion, then skipped it until their 50th. Now, it is every year (mind you, at this point it is just a large table at a restaurant, but...).

Baby boomers pioneered nothing but snorting coke at reunions, rather than drinking rum and coke, the use of non-medical marijuana, and the Beatles and Stones playing rather than Perry Como or Frank Sinatra (or Artie Shaw and Glen Miller, in parents' case).

Re: 'Social networking has robbed us of our nostal (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434628)

It's also bonus points when the thing that's changed was only something Baby Boomers really experienced

The geek has no sense of time

and, arguably, no social instincts whatever.

But there are things in this world best experienced off-line.

We have scrapbooks and photographs of family reunions and other gatherings that reach back deep into the nineteeth century

I am quite certain that with a bit of effort we could find some many earlier examples.

Move on (1, Insightful)

Lillebo (1561251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433670)

"Then you can move on with your life."

Or you can just move on with your life regardless of Facebook.

Nostalgia is over-rated (5, Insightful)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433714)

I don't believe in High School reunions nor to I subscribe to Facebook. If I liked a person from school, I'd still be in touch with them and if we lost touch, then it was time to move on. Facebook is the same thing. I hear about all these people "Friend" each other on Facebook only to "Unfriend" each other because either they realize they still don't like each other or there is nothing in common.

It's all a waste of time.

Stop looking into the past. Leave Facebook behind and go make new friends that know you for who you are today, not who you were yesterday.

Re:Nostalgia is over-rated (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433970)

Yes, nostalgia is over-rated these days, but it didn't used to be this way. I remember when nostalgia was the ideal way to think about the past. Things were so much better back then.

Re:Nostalgia is over-rated (1)

bkaul01 (619795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434708)

Modded "Informative"? I think I would've gone for "Funny" ...

Re:Nostalgia is over-rated (2)

dwye (1127395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434746)

This is rated +2 Informative?

Swoosh, moderators.

Re:Nostalgia is over-rated (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434192)

Well, before Facebook and everyone went into broadcast mode I didn't have a clue how 90% of the people from school ended up, so I did attend a reunion some years back and I think at least 2/3rds of my class was there. Just call it simple curiosity, what do they look like now, what did they end up doing, they pulled up old pictures of us, quoted some old school books and it was just fun comparing who we were then and who are we now and we chatted about old times over beers. I wasn't going to rekindle some long lost friendship or anything, because it was just the distant past we had in common. I don't get the sour grapes though, unless you're the kind of kid that hated high school.

In any case, with Facebook all my curiosity and then way, way much more could be satisfied if I'd bother to watch my feed so I'd be much, much less inclined to go today. I don't get the people who say it enhances everything, if you've read up on Facebook and haven't OD'd on nostalgia already then you're being plain obsessive about your past. It was a decade or more ago, just like I can talk to my long time friends about that cabin trip we went on 10 years ago but it's just a passing subject then we get back into the here and now. Same way with reunions, you go way back and remember the good times then you get back and get on with your life. Doesn't mean it's not a nice trip, but in limited dosage.

Re:Nostalgia is over-rated (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434304)

Getting a second chance to bone that cute chick from history class is anything but a waste of time. Sure, you could have sex with anyone, but she's been in your spank bank for 20 years.

Re:Nostalgia is over-rated (1)

somaTh (1154199) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434460)

From the summary:

Then you can move on with your life.

I agree with you and add this point: Since when are reunions about moving on with your life? At best you're reuniting with the people who knew you before you became who you are, at worst you're trying to use other people to feel better about where you are in life.

I suppose it is true that you can do both on facebook now. You can even get drunk and hit on that girl who turned you down that now has three kids, you just don't have to wait for some arbitrary multiple of five years to do it.

Re:Nostalgia is over-rated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434702)

Jackass. I went to my tenth, saw a guy I knew and associated with from time to time but never really kept in touch with. It was good to see him again.

It's never a waste of time.

You're just bitter and lonely.

Jackass. High school ended a loooong time ago for you, get over yourself and your old feelings. They're out of date and expired.

Re:Nostalgia is over-rated (1)

buravirgil (137856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435732)

Stop looking into the past. Leave Facebook behind and go make new friends that know you for who you are today, not who you were yesterday.

Vengeance is mine sayeth http://reunion.com/ [reunion.com]

can't blame what preceded it... (4, Funny)

mortonda (5175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433720)

I stopped going to school reunions long before facebook existed. And by stopped, I mean never went.

Re:can't blame what preceded it... (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434404)

I suspect so do many people: they go to a first couple and then stop. That effected existed before facebook. Article claims decline for which the factor your mentioned is irrelevant.

That refers also to many other overrated comments: people are describing irrelevant personal experience.

What changed in the same time period as appearance of Facebook that can alternatively explain the decline?

Sometimes /. feels like reddit.

Re:can't blame what preceded it... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435782)

Yup. I went to my five-year. Hardly anyone there and only one person I was on social terms with. Didn't bother going to the ten-year and probably won't do others.

I might be more interested in going if I'd see people from a year or two ahead and behind me as well, because there are more of them I want to see again, but that doesn't seem to be easily done.

At least you can tell who's Facebook-Flaky (2)

unsanitary999 (2482414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433738)

We recently had a reunion put together via a Facebook group. About 40 people confirmed as "Attending," yet only 9 people showed up to the event total.

No real surprise (4, Insightful)

orthancstone (665890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433740)

This article seems like old hat at this point. When my wife brought up the idea of going to her 10 year reunion a few years back, I asked her what she was going to learn at said reunion that she doesn't already know from her Facebook news feed.

Re:No real surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433876)

Reunions are pissing contests to see who's doing the best, who fucked up, who's dead, and a chance to shag those you were too frightened to talk to in your youth (only to find they've aged really really badly!).

Re:No real surprise (2)

wdef (1050680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434042)

... and a chance to shag those you were too frightened to talk to in your youth (only to find they've aged really really badly!).

Or I suppose you can at least gloat at just how revoltingly wrinkled, fat, stupid and ugly Mary Jane Hotty-Cheerleader - the girl that you blistered your palms and wrote bad poetry hopelessly lusting after at 16yo - turned out to be post-40. Or that she's alone, been divorced twice and struggles in a disgusting job with three horrific teenage brats on crack or in jail. You, who works out five times per week, is gloriously free of encumberments, and makes close to a 6-figure income, would never so much spit in her fatty wrinkled direction now. Ah! Schadenfreude may be a shallow and short lived pleasure but isn't it nice when geeks triumph over cheerleader/jock types with age.

Re:No real surprise (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434262)

... and a chance to shag those you were too frightened to talk to in your youth (only to find they've aged really really badly!).

Or I suppose you can at least gloat at just how revoltingly wrinkled, fat, stupid and ugly Mary Jane Hotty-Cheerleader - the girl that you blistered your palms and wrote bad poetry hopelessly lusting after at 16yo - turned out to be post-40. Or that she's alone, been divorced twice and struggles in a disgusting job with three horrific teenage brats on crack or in jail. You, who works out five times per week, is gloriously free of encumberments, and makes close to a 6-figure income, would never so much spit in her fatty wrinkled direction now. Ah! Schadenfreude may be a shallow and short lived pleasure but isn't it nice when geeks triumph over cheerleader/jock types with age.

You don't have to wait until you're 40+... I had similar weird experiences as a mere lad of 25 or so. Good job, great pay, going to night school to get even more money, new car, great apartment... I had some weird meetings with former hotties and former football players at insurance offices, supermarket cashiers, read about their jail sentence in the paper, gas station clerks, groundskeepers... if you stay and live where you grew up, you tend to run into people a lot more often than if you jet across the country.

Re:No real surprise (1)

sempir (1916194) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434364)

You can DELETE a facebook a/c? Really?

Re:No real surprise (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434594)

Don't forget the exaggerated stories about shit that seemed *really* important at the time, but means jackshit today. Oh, the stories!

Re:No real surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433892)

I just said WHY? Facebook had nothing to do with it.

Re:No real surprise (1)

orthancstone (665890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435328)

This is a valid response too

Re:No real surprise (3, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435648)

When my wife brought up the idea of going to her 10 year reunion a few years back, I asked her what she was going to learn at said reunion that she doesn't already know from her Facebook news feed.

I went to my last reunion and had a great time hanging out in real life with friends I rarely get to see in person. Spending time with people you enjoy isn't about updating news items. It's about having fun conversations, laughing, and being connected to humanity. Facebook doesn't do that stuff.

this is 69oatsex (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433766)

and as BSD sinks Who sell another ver7 sick and its are looking very

Incomplete story. (4, Interesting)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433850)

1) High school HOSTED reunions are becoming every day less because people are more likely to relocate these days, making it harder for schools to locate them and let them know about it.
2) In my experience, Facebook has actually increased high school reunions, without the need of the school inviting anyone back. Classmates just find eachother and plan their own reunions these days.
3) Reconnecting with classmates I dont ever want to see again was the reason I finally deleted my facebook account. There is a reason I never kept contact with them in the first place.
4) If your only reason to go to a school reunion is to be shocked at how the pretty girl is now fat and the sports guy is now a loser that just got off jail.... I think you belong in there because you didnt turn out too well either.

Re:Incomplete story. (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434174)

WEll facebook has advantages.

Showing me that now 20 years later that hot girl I was lusting after is now a hag, and I dodged the bullet with the girlfriends I had, Two of them I though were nuts, were in fact, completely nuts. the other two turned into bull dykes later in life.

Re:Incomplete story. (1)

stillpixel (1575443) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434538)

Ramen! I'm no Mr. Awesome, but 20 years has not done many much good. Some are just plain sad, FB lets you see that from a distance before you have to deal with it in your face in a very public social gathering.

Re:Incomplete story. (4, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434892)

I agree on number 2 - my high school class' 12-year reunion (long story, but let's just say that around when the 10th was due to happen was when most of my class were just discovering Facebook and friending each other) would not have happened without Facebook. The school itself had ZERO role in planning any reunion, and didn't even seem to make an attempt. One of our alumni planned the whole thing with help from other classmates on Facebook, held at a local golf course, and it was a resounding success.

Really Michael Fox? (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433904)

So Facebook robbed us of our nostalgia?

Not, say, that time machine you keep riding around in?

I mean, why resort to renunions when you can actually go back and watch the actual high school prom in person?

Relieved (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433908)

I was overseas on a trip when the last big anniversary high school reunion happened. Frankly, I was relieved. These things are much loved by insurance salesmen and other parasitic networking types. One of them, who I never liked at school, had the gall to telephone me and ask for a donation to the old school (aka private militaristic fascist dungeon) that I was incarcerated in all those precious years. No thanks says I, claiming quite accurately at the time that I wouldn't spare any coin.

It's Awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433990)

A friend of mine sent me an email link to a facebook page for my grade school graduation class where I found a discussion thread about me. Some of my former classmates were ridiculing the way I looked back then and ridiculing my current job.

Re:It's Awful (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434098)

Adults that still need to act that way are generally hoping no one will notice what losers they are, they still haven't found themselves and any chance to direct that focus to someone else is taken.

In other words fuck em.

Yes, blame Facebook. (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433996)

It probably has nothing to do with the cost of travel increasing while people have less disposable income available. It must be Facebook's fault.

(disclaimer: I've never gone to a high school reunion, but I thought about going to the 15th, mostly for networking as I had been fired a few months earlier ... but they canceled that one)

Ummm how about the economy? (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434000)

Gee, I don't know... could it be the fact that most people would find this an absolutely frivolous waste of money that would be better spent on a family vacation or basic expenses in a tight economy?

Re:Ummm how about the economy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434334)

"The Economy" is a very common scapegoat for people not traveling as much as they used to.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is typically the USA's busiest travel day of the year. The media love going to airports to interview people following the Thanksgiving tradition of spending multiple nights in airports getting nowhere because the airlines double-booked every flight.

This year, airports were eerily empty; it was almost like any other weekday, except more tilted towards families than business travelers. Meanwhile, Amtrak had, IIRC, their busiest day _ever_ and had to borrow passenger cars from NJT and MARC to handle the demand on the Northeast Corridor.

I place the blame for overall reductions in travel not on "the economy", but on the TSA. I won't fly at all unless it's "essential", which I have loosely defined as family events like reunions and weddings--my 10-year flying average is once per 13 months. I'm on the record saying that, if the USA ever adopts UK-style mandatory pornoscans, I'm completely done flying.

Unfortunately, I don't see an end to this any time soon--way too many American voters think the TSA is the only thing keeping 9/11-style attacks from happening on a weekly basis. Even airlines love it, since (a) they don't have to pay for airport security anymore like before 9/11, and (b) they get to point the finger when items are stolen from checked baggage.

I went to my 10-year reunion, but I live in the same city as my high school, since my city has actual employment options for people with post-secondary education. I'll most likely go to the 20-year reunion too. I wasn't exactly in the "in" crowd, but the bulk of the student body at my high school was friendly and tolerant, I enjoyed seeing them all at the reunion, and there were no popularity contests going on. The reunion was more or less the way I thought it would be 10 years earlier, when my Internet connection averaged around 40 kbps and nobody even knew about MySpace.

One theory I _do_ have about something changed by Facebook, however, is this: I would like to know if there has been an increase in high-school classmate marriage. You're single, you get on Facebook in 2006 or so when it starts getting big, and next thing you know, you're chatting with a single high-school classmate who lives nearby...

Re:Ummm how about the economy? (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435256)

Nope.

First off these are /.ers and they're probably still living in their parents basement. :-)

Secondly, as long as they're spending their money in country, and spending as much as possible, its a good thing because the money they're spending becomes somebody's salary that they can then spend to pay yet another person.

In a poor economy spending is actually a good way to help it. Just don't bankrupt your ass.

First World Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434010)

n/t

Self-fulfilling prophecy? A more general effect? (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434012)

"I looked at it a couple of times and it didn't seem like anyone I knew would be there, so I lost interest."

Maybe that's the real issue? Everyone can check the RSVP list and see that nobody's really going, so nobody RSVPs, and so when people check the RSVP list it seems that nobody's going to go, and eventually everyone decides to just stay at home. In days of old you just gambled that there'd be enough people there for it to be worth your while. Maybe this is a more global effect of Facebook on event planning beyond reunions.

Pointless "tech" spin on a "social" trend. (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434016)

Its a social trend, not a tech trend.

Seems the cultural goal is to hang out with the last group of people you went to school with.

Maybe 50 years ago, for the majority of americans, that was high school.

Currently, for the majority of americans, the last group of people they went to school with would have been dropping out of freshman year of college. And the "reunion-industrial complex" is not offering "freshman year reunions".

The other cultural/social trend is class mixing was cool 20 years ago when I was wasting time in high school. So my gym classes were just whatever random bunch of frosh thru seniors showed up that hour. We were required to take 4 years of English class and the electives were whatever random bunch of juniors or seniors showed up for sci fi class, etc. First and second year chem and physics (and bio, although I never took bio) were just whatever random bunch of sophmore to senior kids who showed up. Art elective was photography, again, whatever freshman thru senior kids felt like signing up... I think the only "all senior" class I ever took in my senior year, was calculus. Sooo one of my best school friends was my physics lab partner, and he was a year older than I am. I met a girlfriend a year younger than me, in english class in my sophomore year. The kids who graduated the year I did, who were a tiny subset of the kids I went to school with? By and large, don't much care. They only made up 1/3 to 1/4 the students in my classes so they only made up 1/3 to 1/4 of my school friends.

What about the kids I hung out with? Well back before the illegal alien invasion (this was decades ago) teenagers could get jobs. And it seems I worked with mostly kids from the school across town. Weirdly enough, after graduating I noticed I dated more girls from the "other school" than from my own school, because I hung out with them at work, leading to after work dates, you get the idea... I was entering the .mil and 4 local schools funneled into one recruitment center and we had monthly get together social club type activities. I was friends with three future marines, an air force wanna be, and a navy dude, none of which graduated with me at my school the same year.

At least WRT "twentieth year reunions" or so, there is just no social point anymore. Thats why they're going away.

Trying to spin a social trend into a "tech story" just looks stupid.

In other words (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434028)

We are losing touch with what it means to be human and have healthy relationships.

Haven't went, never will. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434116)

Honestly, I have no desire to see any of those jerkoffs. I am friends with my real friends, not the fake ones that later in life forgot how much of Dushanbe bags they were.

I think a lot of other people are the same way, Highschool was NOT the best part of life, why return to see people from a time in your life that does not matter?

College Alumni and Fraternity gatherings? sure. Hgihschool? Why waste time and air fare?

Hum. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434132)

Well then, looks like I'll be the only one people will want to talk to at my high school reunion. And since one of my friends I do talk to on a daily basis does have facebook, he'll probably tell me about the invite if one appears.

Facebook destroys everything that is not Facebook (4, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434154)

I didn't like high school the first time around, why would I want to go through that particular brand of hell again? That's why I don't use Facebook.

The word "victim" in the title is correct, though. Facebook destroys everything that is not Facebook. Small community web sites, forums, blogs, etc. and now things like high school reunions, local clubs and organizations, people going outside and looking up from their screens once in a while ... all of it suffering right now because all anyone wants to do anymore is fuck around on Facebook.

I do hope this changes sometime soon.

Re: Facebook destroys everything that is not Faceb (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434306)

So it's the Walmart of the Internet.

Re: Facebook destroys everything that is not Faceb (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434428)

So it's the Walmart of the Internet.

In other words, avoid at all costs?

Re: Facebook destroys everything that is not Faceb (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434624)

Unless you look like these people: http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/ [peopleofwalmart.com]

Which in my opinion are real life zombies.

Re: Facebook destroys everything that is not Faceb (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435402)

What is interesting is how right you are, yet people can't avoid or stop using FB, even though they know it is wrong. Similar to the Walmart analogy of another poster here...(The High Cost of Low Prices?) Yes, FB is like a black hole of the web, sucking in all competing forms of interaction. On several occaisions I've been with people who were "dicking around" on their phones, ignoring what was actually going on around them, such as watching a moving, having dinner/lunch, etc; They say they are checking FB, and they get particularly peeved if anyone dares to mention how rude it is for them to be doing FB. The reality is, once implantable brain/computer interfaces become a commodity, sometime in the next 10-20 years, everyone will be on a constant FB "rush", internally. You will go into a restaurant, and no one will be talking...

Meh, did it once, it was boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434276)

Don't need to do it again. Decided that long before there was Facebook.

Out of a graduating class of 800+ (largish Los Angeles area high school) there are two or three people I care enough about that I continue to see, with or without a reunion.

And there are two or three people I'd kinda like to see; they disappeared long ago and haven't been to any of the reunions, so going to a reunion in the hope of seeing them seems like a waste of time.

My GenY/Echo Boom children went to a much smaller high school and are friends with more classmates on either side of their graduating class, and are in closer touch with more of their classmates, I suspect mainly through Facebook. I think they've indicated some interested in their five year reunions. Too early to say anything about their ten year reunions.

Does it really matter? (1)

jamesoutlaw (87295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434280)

I graduated from high school in 1988, went away to college and have pretty much been away from my home town since then. I kept up with some of my high school friends for a few years, but I've made new and better friends since then. I got back in touch with a few high school friends on Facebook and we communicate from time to time and that's just perfect. I didn't go to either of my reunions (10 or 20 year) simply because I had no interest in going. It might have been nice to go out of morbid curiosity, but aside from that, I decided it was not worth the effort. Heck, it's been so long and I've had so many new and more exciting experiences that I barely remember anything about those 4 years (less than 10%) of my life. Things change, people. Get over it.

I used to think Facebook was pointless ... however, a friend convinced me to use it and I signed up. I actually like it ... yes, yes, yes, I know all about the supposedly "horrific" privacy violations and all of that jibberish. However, as someone mentioned above, I couldn't care less whether or not some marketing drone knows I like Whole Foods. Anything I post about or talk about on Facebook is something those people would have found out in some other way. With a little self control, and some common sense, you are not going to get yourself into trouble by using social media sites like Facebook. I have met many people on Facebook that I would not have met otherwise- and yes I have met the majority of the people on my friends list face-to-face, including the ones who live outside of the US.

Re:Does it really matter? (1)

jamesoutlaw (87295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434424)

oops ... forgot to add this comment to my initial post. I grew up in a rural area near a small town. There were 100 people in my high school graduating class. I had known more than half of them since kindergarten ... so by the time I had graduated, I was pretty much ready to leave them behind and meet some new and interesting people. I'm sure many of them think/thought the same thing about me also, hahaha, but that does not matter to me at all.

Facebook creates a difficult position... (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434286)

...as was remarked in other comments, for people who do not want to be on Facebook. Or, as said above: "Facebook destroys everything that is not Facebook". Is there a remedy against Facebook taking over the lion's part of what many people consider as "social life" ? Can we bring Facebook down ?

Re:Facebook creates a difficult position... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434868)

"Is there a remedy against Facebook taking over the lion's part of what many people consider as "social life" ? Can we bring Facebook down ?"

Great idea! You should Tweet about it!

Re:Facebook creates a difficult position... (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435314)

Is there a remedy against Facebook taking over the lion's part of what many people consider as "social life" ? Can we bring Facebook down ?

Google+ ? Alternately, wait until no one goes there because it is too crowded (as Yogi Berra put it).

Neither solves the real problem that there are no general stores for people to sit around the cracker barrel and discuss what the upcoming weather was going to be and how it would affect the crops, and Prohibition killed the saloon.

Had the Opposite Effect in My Case (1)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434478)

Just have my 20th last month. First one I even bothered going to because I was constantly reminded of the invite list, and as more people signed up, more people wanted to. Everyone could message other people on the invite list and goad them into coming. I can't imagine that they would have even found a way to contact me otherwise. I can't see how Facebook is not good for reunions.

Reunions only work on TV (2)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434490)

There is a cliche film/tv reunion where where everyone is vital, pretty, socially able and remembers lots of amusing stories about the "best time of their life" at school or university.

In practice the interesting people are too busy being interesting to attend, the "hot" people you remember from when they were 17 or 18 have now gained 30kg (4+ stone) and only want to talk about their children, or their problems, or their scumbag ex-partner. Even worse, the events themselves are frequently thinly-veiled fundraisers for the school/university to support causes that didn't exist when you were there, and don't care about since you moved away - a long, long way away.

So if FB has managed to start killing off reonions, then at least it's performing one social good.

Advertising on the wrong site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434552)

I missed my 10 year reunion, because the organizers only advertised it on a single social network that I wasn't part of. I saw some talk of a 15 year on Facebook, but it was mostly met with "meh".

There's only a handful of people from High School I'm really interested in seeing again, and they're not the type to do reunions, anyway.

HA! Highschool reunions... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434710)

My mother still lives in the town I went to HS in. She constantly says: "Oh I saw $random_hs_person and they said to tell you $general_greeting_phrase. They seemed really nice and asked how you were doing." This for some odd reason is especially true for my old ex-girlfriends and guys I never hung out with. Then inevitability I get a friend request on Facebook. I always ignore them... but they always make me wish Facebook had a "Fuck off you stupid twat" button. It is funny the way people who have nothing else always attempt to re-live highschool with reunions and such. I may attend one at some point just to laugh at the stupid assholes I went to school with and all the pretty girls that turned me down - now that I'm PhD married to an MD (her speciality nurses call her "Dr. Barbie") we have 2 children and live very comfortably in a 3100 sq/ft house. Likely though I'll never attend... honestly there isn't a soul I went to HS with that I'd waste the time on. I have much better things to do - like go for a 3rd child! WOOHOO!

Thanks /. I hadn't thought about those worthless sacks of burning dog shit in a long time.

Breaking news--Reality is not like the movies (1)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434806)

First of all, the article doesn't seem to have anything to back it up except a few anecdotes. Second, the author's perception of high school reunions seems to be based, to a large degree, on fictional ones. The gist of the article is that classmates who have been in touch through Facebook are less likely to have "dramatic" reunions like the ones in the movies (Peggy Sue, Romy & Michelle). It might come as a shock to a writer, but reunions never have been like the ones in fiction.

My hometown cohorts recently held a very successful reunion--successful enough to raise some money for a local charity. Facebook was a vital part of organizing and publicizing the event. Tangentially, one of the reasons that it was successful was that they did not limit it to one school--the history of the community was such that many childhood friends ended up at different high schools.

Anyway, reunions simply are what you make of them. Facebook has not changed that one bit.

Awkward reunions replaced by awkward friend reques (4, Insightful)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434856)

The big thing I've noticed is that, once one person from high school finds you on Facebook, the rest will soon follow. I've had practically zero contact with the folks I went to high school with in the past 23 years after graduation, and I'm inclined to keep it that way. But then someone found me and friended me, and I foolishly accepted, probably because that person was someone I didn't despise. Then more showed up...and more...and more. Then I was getting friend requests from people who I really didn't like too much. Those are sitting out there in friend request limbo, where I plan on leaving them until the day I finally quit Facebook, which, given this whole Timeline thing, may be coming soon.

Re:Awkward reunions replaced by awkward friend req (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435084)

I went through a short phase where I added a bunch of people I vaguely remembered from High School. Then I went through the phase where I started muting them all because they just talk too damn much. Then I came to my senses and just unfriended them. Now my friends are just that. Or at least people who WERE friends, and I'd be happy to interact with, but while they're on Facebook, they don't use it.

I like it for what I use it for, a way to share a few things (mostly pictures) with a small group of friends and family. And occasionally, I get drawn back into Frontierville, until I realize I'm spending my free time doing virtual work for virtual money (which can't even buy any interesting virtual goods, those take real money)

Re:Awkward reunions replaced by awkward friend req (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38435148)

That's what the Restricted list is for. And if the stuff they post annoys me (excessive posting about politics, their problems, or their S.O.), I'll also unsubscribe from their updates.

Re:Awkward reunions replaced by awkward friend req (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435156)

once one person from high school finds you on Facebook, the rest will soon follow

So don't publish details of where you went to school. It's not compulsory and if you don't want people from your old school finding you, then seriously: don't say where you were at school.

It's not as if you're the only person with your particular name in the whole world and even if you have posted photos of yourself it's easy to either ignore the requests or reply "no you must be mistaken". If you post your personal information, people are going to find it. You can't complain that the "wrong people" find it - you wouldn't have posted it if you didn't want people to find it.

Re:Awkward reunions replaced by awkward friend req (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435578)

It's not as if you're the only person with your particular name in the whole world

Yeah pretty easy for a guy apparently named "Peter" to say that.

I am quite certain I'm the only guy in the history of humanity with my name, at least according to my genealogical research. I went out with a really hot chick named Evenstar or something like that once when we were about 19, can't be many of her around. Some of my younger co workers have names that are bizarrely intentionally misspelled to make them unique, oh it sure does that, all right. Then there's certain ethnic groups that use names they think are from their theoretical tribal ancestry, there's certainly no one living outside Somalia with that rather unique name..

Who goes to them anyway? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434914)

Seriously, if you're that caught up in the past, you need therapy, not a reunion.

Move on?! (1)

masterfpt (1435165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435172)

The last sentence from TFA is really funny "Then you can move on with your life.'"

I never had a facebook page (and believe never will). How will I be able to move on with my life?!... Ahhhhrrgggg...

I don't keep in touch with people just because we used to share the same classroom 20 years ago... Some are my close friends, others just a memory of the past and I like it like that. And get off my lawn!

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38435188)

*post about how I don't use facebook and never went to reunions, thus refuting article*

Not at all true (2)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38435746)

I have to say I disagree with the story 100%. In fact if not for Facebook our high school reunion would not have happened at all. Former students took it upon themselves to organize it via Facebook, and now I am more connected with people than I would have been without Facebook.
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