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High School Reunions — Facebook's Newest Victim? 168

Posted by timothy
from the would-rather-dine-with-old-friends dept.
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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High School Reunions — Facebook's Newest Victim?

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  • I doubt it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:52AM (#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).
    • 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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:08AM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:15AM (#38433932) Homepage Journal

        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.

        • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:38AM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Migraineman (632203) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:20AM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Rolgar (556636) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:37AM (#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.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Some of the people who pushed me around in school, because I was a wuss who would let them and they found a boost in popularity handy too, are my friends now. Some of them, I found out later, knew little but aggression at home, and had no idea how else to relate to anyone anyway. So it's not about whether they were a bully... I could frankly tell whether they were going to be a shithead all their lives even back then.

            I don't think most people change that much. I think that barring some major event like a ne

      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by sempir (1916194)

        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dskzero (960168)
        I highly doubt you realize how incredibly creepy that comment about algorithms was.
      • by ciaohound (118419)

        "Interfaces", "support", "algorithm", "exceptions", "source" -- sheesh, how many computer-science concepts can you apply to human interactions in one Slashdot post?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by operagost (62405)
          The Slashdot crowd makes the cast of Big Bang Theory look like a stylish clique.
    • by glueball (232492) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:15AM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by duguk (589689) <dug AT frag DOT co DOT uk> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:20AM (#38433992) Homepage Journal

      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.

      • by Quirkz (1206400)
        Main benefit: being able to actually recognize people. Between the weight gain and the hair loss, I spent hours at my 10-year reunion talking to a few people I didn't even remember, and nearly passed up one dear old friend who was 8 months pregnant and didn't look anything like what I remembered. I'm sure later reunions will only be worse.

        Plus, there's some nice conversation starters. Like: "so, you're the guy who's completely obsessed with every *-ville game?" or "what are you, up to ten kids now?"
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      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.

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:42AM (#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 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:16AM (#38434792) Homepage

      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.

    • 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.
    • 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.

  • by Neitokun (882224) <nmalynn@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:55AM (#38433656) Homepage
    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.
    • by westlake (615356)

      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.

    • by adisakp (705706)
      My 20 year class reunion was ORGANIZED on Facebook. Facebook allowed people to track down and more easily notify classmates. I actually feel that more people attended because of Facebook and the technology it provided to keep in touch.
  • by realsilly (186931) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:59AM (#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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:18AM (#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.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      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 lo

    • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:46AM (#38434304) Journal

      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.

    • by somaTh (1154199)
      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 i

    • 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]

    • by kiwimate (458274)

      Something being meaningless to you does not make it automatically meaningless to everyone else on the planet. Nor does it give you the right to pontificate that others should follow your lead.

      You have no need for Facebook or high school reunions. Fine. You have no sentiment. So be it. Don't be a killjoy and tell others they're inferior to you because they do find pleasure in those diversions.

    • by Beerdood (1451859)
      "It's a stupid waste of time, and so is Facebook."

      I'm not surprised that most of the "insightful" comments on this article basically say how pointless and stupid high school reunions / and or facebook is. The majority of the people on /. probably weren't popular in high school and likely got bullied. A lot more chess club members than players on the high school football team. One thing I noticed at my wife' high school reunion was that it was pretty much only the popular people that actually attended
  • by mortonda (5175) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:59AM (#38433720)

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

    • by mapkinase (958129)

      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.

      • by Nimey (114278)

        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.

  • No real surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by orthancstone (665890) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:01AM (#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.
    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @12:11PM (#38435648) Homepage Journal

      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.

  • Incomplete story. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tharsman (1364603) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:10AM (#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.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      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.

      • by Nyder (754090)

        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.

        Dude, all chick are crazy, you just have to find one who's craziness doesn't set yours off.

        I think they call that love, but i'm not sure.

        • by gmhowell (26755)

          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.

          Dude, all chick are crazy, you just have to find one who's craziness doesn't set yours off.

          I think they call that love, but i'm not sure.

          Love, co-dependence, whatever. It's all about the same when the restraining order gets issued.

    • Re:Incomplete story. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:23AM (#38434892) Homepage

      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.

    • by dwye (1127395)

      > making it harder for schools to locate them and let them know about it.

      High school reunions are organized by the officers of the high school class; the school is usually happy to help, of course, but does not take the lead.

      Trust me, I know from my parents, who were two of their HS class officers, and have to do this every year. They were too busy to organize their 5th, did the 10th, and then just dropped the ball until their 50th or so. No one from their high school administration ever sent any mail o

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:13AM (#38433904) Journal

    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?

  • 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 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)

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:20AM (#38434000) Homepage

    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?

    • 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.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:21AM (#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.

  • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:22AM (#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.

  • 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?

  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:35AM (#38434154) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • 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
      • It's hard for people to tear themselves away from Facebook even though everyone hates Facebook. As a blogger once commented -- when push comes to shove -- EVERYONE hates Facebook:

        And please don’t tell me about your friend Captain Vacuous who would demur with the above sentiment. You are wrong about this. Trust me. Even the diehards, the partisans, the addicts, the gushing zombie morons (‘it’s such a great way to keep in TOUCH with people!”) shiny-chinned with the drool from a thousa

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Complete bullsheet.

        " 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"
        that because THEY are assholes, not because FB is doing anything.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Have you actually thought about what you posted? any thought at all?

      " Small community web sites,"
      why is moving to facebook bad? Ignoring the fact that there are still plenty of these.

      "forums"
      Why is facebook worse then forums

      "blogs"
      Because there aren't any? what?

      " people going outside"
      People use FB to organize event outside all the time. from meeting at pubs, to geocaching, to well, everything outside.

      FB is just a tool. How people leverage it can be different.

      " anymore is fuck around on Facebook."
      Man, you RE

  • 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,

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:57AM (#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.

  • 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 r

  • by ISurfTooMuch (1010305) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:20AM (#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.

    • by residieu (577863)

      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

    • by petes_PoV (912422)

      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 i

      • by vlm (69642)

        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 t

    • by N1AK (864906)

      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.

      Oh the inhumanity of it all! I used to have a group for people I decided to allow requests from but didn't want seeing everything I do. Now I use the acquaintances and don't share posts with them instead. Facebook is a tool and has plenty of flexibility. If yo

    • I had exactly that experience with Friends Reunited 10 years ago. If I actually like someone then it's worth spending the token half hour every six months sending them an email and staying in touch. If I don't even care about them enough to do that, then there's no reason for using a social networking system to stay in touch with them. We're not friends, and we don't gain anything from pretending to be. Remembering that experience, I opted out of the current social networking bubble.

      It's okay to lose

      • I agree with you completely, and I'll add that I think, with elementary and high school, you don't really get to choose your friends, especially at a smaller school. You're sort of thrown into this group of people who you have to see every day, whether you like it or not. Sort of like work, except that, with work, at least most folks have developed the maturity level not to be complete assholes most of the time

  • by bananaquackmoo (1204116) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @12:17PM (#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.
  • half the class was at 5 year reunion in late 80s, a few for ten year, and at 15 years in late 90s (the last one) three people went to restaurant and bar. this year was 25 years, I could imagine what would be said were it held and most people were to go, "I went to my high school reunion, but instead of my classmates a bunch of old farts showed up"
  • HS Reunion is very much a baby boomer event. Baby boomers are dying or getting too old to bother.

  • We just did our 20th and FB actually helps promote the event and track folks down.

    Yes, you already know a lot about what is going on if you follow the FB stream. So I knew more about a lot of folks that I never really socialized in HS with. But I also knew what my circle of friends had been up to, so we did not have to spend so much time catching up on "trivialities" so much.

    Plus, I used FB to specifically target and encourage the folks I wanted to see IRL to be there. And it worked, a lot of them showed

  • Facebook is, or rather people who use only Facebook are, nearly robbing me of my next high school reunion. I am not on Facebook and my reunion "committee" is solely using Facebook to disseminate information on the reunion, actually actively resisting other methods.

    Ah, well, nice to see how little things change. Adult life is just as click-y as high school.

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