Today’s topic is: “How do you stay in touch with far-away friends?”
Once upon a time, many decades ago, I wrote letters to my far-away friends. I remember having a pen pal at one time too. But now, like everyone else, I chat with my friends instantly using email or Facebook. The only thing we mail these days are love note postcards to Grandma and Grandpa from my young daughters (and that’s because the girls like walking down the driveway and putting them into the mailbox). I’m sure their grandparents enjoy receiving them too, although they contain old news by the time they travel through snail mail.
None of my friends from high school, college, and my former work life live near me. They are spread out all over the U.S., with one in Mexico and one even as far away as Isreal. But with electronic communication, they might as well live next door. This got me thinking… has Facebook essentially killed high school reunions for people who graduated in the 1990s?
I graduated in 1994, which means we are between our 20th and 25th reunions.
I didn’t go to our 10-year reunion (which took place before the widespread proliferation of social media) because I hadn’t really started adulting yet. In those first ten years, I went to college (which took me three schools and five years to graduate), started a doctorate program, dropped out of said program, got a desk job outside of my area of expertise, and ended a seven-year relationship. I felt very behind my own life expectations and didn’t really feel like meeting everyone else’s spouses and seeing pictures of their first-graders.
I didn’t make it back to Phoenix for the 20th reunion either, but I wonder, did I really miss out? Now that we are all online, I’ve already seen photos of most of my classmates getting married, having children, taking vacations, moving homes, and just about everything in between. So what’s the point of us all meeting in person for a few hours (at a great expense)?
I recognize that students who graduated back in the 1960s and 1970s may not be as attached-at-the-hip to Facebook as those of my generation. Certainly, their reunions will hold more value. But I’ve heard that the next generation thinks that Facebook is just for ‘old’ parents like me, although they tend to overshare on Instagram instead. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if official class reunions fade away with the Boomers.
How do you stay in touch? Drop me a comment.
~ Phoebe DeCook