Home > Query > The High School Reunion: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? Did Facebook Already Kill The Need To?

The High School Reunion: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? Did Facebook Already Kill The Need To?

I’ve got to be careful about what I choose to write here, because I think I might inadvertently get myself de-invited. 

I while ago, I got the official (via Facebook) invitation for my 10 year high school reunion, set to go down this summer.  Good on the former students for organizing, apparently the school was ZERO help.  So with the class of 2000 set to ride again, I pose the following query for your dissection: The whole Facebook thing seems to have eliminated the need for high school reunions, hasn’t it? 

I mean, wasn’t the whole thing with the reunion to see and catch up with people you lost touch with over the last X amount of years, and catch up?  So, now with pretty well every human being on the planet having a Facebook profile, and certainly most of every grad class that ever, well, grad-ed (even those who took a little extra time)… well, haven’t we all been doing that very same catching up, and keeping IN touch with each other already, via Facebook, or email, or whatever?

For those who just wanted to see who got fat, who’s bald, who’s rich, who’s still on drugs, and/or who you think you have it better than, well, there’s an app for that all the magic of those mysteries can be solved with a few clicks on incriminating Facebook posts.  So that’s out.  Even if you just want to creep on pictures, and see every move everyone’s made over the last decade, well, that’s at your disposal too—as long as you’ve got that all important “Friend Request” approval.  You don’t even need to leave your house for that.      

And for those looking to show up and prove some point about what you made of yourself and how you’re back to extract revenge on all the people that picked on you by rubbing your accomplishments in everyone’s face, well, if you didn’t already know… YOU’RE THE REASON NO ONE WANTS TO GO TO THESE THINGS. 

Here’s a few direct quotes from people in the reunion group that I cut and paste from our reunion page; all examples of things I don’t want to deal with, nor conversations I want to become involved in, if I were to attend:

I think this past year was my best looking year”

“I’ll be at the grad reunion and be the shocker of it all”

“I neither got fat nor skinny. I got out of my Goth period and grew my hair long.”

“I wasn’t the smartest student…and some people may have thought I wouldn’t do much in my life… well I am happy to say I’m doing pretty good.”

So basically all the things that make you point out how late it is, or pretend you’re getting a call on your phone that didn’t ring, or remind yourself of what you left on the stove, or plugged in, or what’s burning down, or whatever else you can conjure up to exit that convo A-S-A-P.

Now, of course there are good, positive reasons to go.  There definitely is no replacement for seeing people in person when compared to online social networking.  There are a few good people that I would enjoy seeing, and hanging out with again.  Rekindle some old friendships, and re-connect with those who have managed to hermit themselves from technology.  Was there anyone that became famous in our class?  Hmm, might be interesting to find that out. 

Of course, there’s going to be people who’re only going to go if ______ goes, and then there’s a stalemate, and then no one goes.  And some people live really far away, and just can’t go.  I’ve been fortunate to stay good friends with the people of that group I care to keep in touch with most; and at times, I think that’s probably all I really need.

Look, high school wasn’t that bad for me, compared to some of the tortured stories I’ve heard from others.  I had some good times, and some good friends, tried to be a good dude, and also tried not to fail classes and get stuck there.  I think I learned a few things in class here and there, but math DID turn out to be useless just like we all contended; outside of calculating tips at restaurants of course.  I definitely had my insecurities, embarrassments, and jerks and idiots that I wish I never had to have dealt with; but I got out relatively unscathed.  Some stories I’ve heard are certainly of the kind of psychologically damaging material that has people paying shrinks to keep them from climbing to the top of a bell tower and opening fire.  I don’t recall crossing anyone in that manner, so I think my odds of getting shot are fairly low.  I can think of a few people whose odds are probably not in their favour though… remind again why we all want to get together with each other again?

So if we all know that eveyone’s got their issues buried somewhere down deep, can we just all agree that this thing’s not an opportunity to get revenge, or to continue being an idiot to people, or to take that last shot at love with the girl/guy you liked but were too shy to talk to, or whatever agenda you’ve been stewing in the crockpot for waaaay too long, and can we all just hang out like civilized adults that weren’t only brought together by the social bindings of a mandatory public education system?  Can we all just pretend that despite the social awkward life period of us all once being acceptance-seeking (just me?) adolescents that were forced to congregate in the same building for 5 consecutive years, that we actually want to be in the same place with each other this time for some reason?

 Or maybe should we all just go buckwild; have one side of the room for people who want to start fights, gloat, and get embarrassed by asking out the person you always wanted to date that still doesn’t want to date you roll the dice on a crack at romance, and the other side for all the people who are over themselves and their issues, and just wanna hang out and have a good time?      

Again, I hope I haven’t just lost my invitation.  I know I sound cynical, but surely I’m not the only one with these thoughts running through their heads. 

My invitation status is currently set as “Maybe Attending”.  Do you think I should go?  Why or why not?  Did you/are you going to yours?  Why or why not?  What’s your best high school reunion story?

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  1. April 13, 2010 at 2:23 am

    In all honesty, I had planned on going, but then Paul Atkin got engaged and he is having a bachelor party at the end of July. Being in Toronto, I don’t have the time to be flying around the country every couple of weeks this summer, so it seems to be a decision of one or the other and I know what I would pick simply because of the reasons you have stated.

    On one hand there are a bunch of people I would like to see, but they are generally the ones I will see on a trip to K-Town anyways.

    Also, like you say, high school is not necessarily the most memorable of times compared to some of the things I have done since. In all honesty, some of the happiest moments involve passing around notes with jokes and pictures on them, avoiding teacher’s glances and keeping chuckles restrained.

    Does it count as bullying if no one ever saw you making fun of them?

    I suppose the moral of the story is that I will not be going to the reunion, not because of Facebook, and not because of mean people, but because I have prior engagements. I would love to see people like SDC and JTB, but I already have a wonderful gf and don’t need to ask out Natalie Lowe haha.

    And if you are ever in Toronto, give me a shout, we can reminisce on our own terms.

    • April 13, 2010 at 10:31 am

      I don’t blame you for nixing it for Atkin’s bach party. Those are (hopefully) once in a lifetime memories… you can always come to the 20th, haha. It’s probably not a cheap flight from out east either.

      I’ve definitely had more pertinent and life sculpting periods of life than my high school days as well… 1995-2000 didn’t really seem to matter all that much in the end… but that’s just me.

      Lets be honest, if there was someway we could re-enact Math 11 involving no-math, drawing cartoons all class, and actually punching Treadgold, then there’d be an all-star lineup at this thing; but we can’t do that, so…

      I accept your terms for a Toronto reminisce. I will notify you when I’m in town. Can you pick me up from the airport in a Firefly with rainbows, pumping bass?

  2. April 13, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I didn’t go to mine but wish I had. I went to my wife’s with her and had fun. But then, I like people – not like you, Dave 😉

    • April 14, 2010 at 12:35 am

      haha, hold the phone… I like people, don’t I?

      While discussing this topic the other day, I actually was told that spouses shouldn’t even go to these things (from a spouse that went and wished she didn’t); interesting to hear both sides of the track.

  3. Dave Gibson
    April 14, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Couldn’t agree more my friend.

  4. Lara Soukoreff
    April 14, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Love your blog! I am a “Maybe Attending” for the reunion as well. It has the potential to go either way… Really good to get caught up, or really awkward and uncomfortable. But there is nothing like the “real person” experience to get caught up with people, especially if they are your FB friend and that’s the extent of what you know about them.

  5. April 16, 2010 at 2:25 am

    I’d like to see Dave Gibson.

  6. April 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Dooooooo it. Why? Because it’s your high school reunion. You are going to go and spend the night laughing at memories you had forgotten about (either because you wanted to, you were not completely with it, or because it WAS 10 years ago). The person who you thought was “the one” will turn out not to be who you thought (which will make you feel better…maybe?).

    To me, a reunion is sort of like prom. There’s a lot of hype, people spend too much time getting ready for it and preparing and trying to show off the other person, but in the end, all that matters is hanging with friends and celebrating where you have gotten. It’ll be good to see some people you haven’t seen in awhile.

    What is a little different in this day and age, is the fact that it is so much easier to keep in touch through Facebook. Now you know what most people look like and perhaps even what they are doing.

    So, as it is much like prom, just do it, it’s not going to happen again (at least the 10 year reunion won’t) and if you don’t and you find out it was really fun, you might regret it.

    What’s the worse that could happen?

    In conclusion — DOOOO ITTTT!

    • April 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      interesting take. I like your positive thinking, and will consider this angle. I have a few months yet to decide…

      If this thing’s like a prom, do I have to wear a ridiculously overpriced tux again?

  7. Melissa Munn
    April 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I disagree with April! I’m only 23 and I’ve already decided that I won’t go to mine. Like you said, Facebook eliminates the entire reason for going. It’s a waste of time – I already know what everyone is doing/looks like and if I don’t, I can easily creep them.

    As for the people who go to prove some point….if I’m uberly successful I’m not going to go to prove anything to anyone. The only person I have to prove anything to is myself, and being successful I will have already done that.

    If you’re already keeping in touch with the good group of friends you had, why bother? You’re still in touch with the people that matter.

    I vote you forgo your reunion and have an anti-reunion reunion….spend the night with the group of people you still keep in contact with. Afterall, they’re the ones that matter. Why waste your time with the others?

    • April 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      another interesting take. Anti-reunion reunion?? Curious… sounds a little high school to me… but maybe that would be fitting… would we have to protest and stuff?

  8. April 23, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I was Googling “high school reunions” and I found this post. My 10th is this summer too, and I am going. Sure, I live on the other side of the continent…but my best friend is getting married two weeks later, so I decided to go. I don’t know what it’s like in your hometown, but we have a whole alum weekend with a parade and floats. I’d like to go because I think it win to see people I haven’t seen in 10 yrs but knew for 12, also I don’t really have any hang-ups because all my friends were either older, younger, or lived in other towns. Also, I want to see if people faked their Facebook pics, half the guys appear to be bald (already!). If that’s not karma for middle school drama then I don’t know what is.

    • April 24, 2010 at 1:40 am

      Glad you found me, beggarmaid! Where are you from, and where did you graduate from that is on the other side of the continent from you??

      I know ours won’t be anywhere near as elaborate as yours sounds; a parade and floats are definitely not in the budget. Last I heard, our school wasn’t helping financially or in any other way at all; just a few alumni that took up the cause.

      So it sounds like you’ll be going as an observer. Interesting stance; to see if people have been sandbagging their facebook profiles to make themselves look awesomer than they really are. Not a bad idea. Would you say you have changed much yourself since those days??

  9. Greg
    April 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    There’s a page on Facebook for my high school’s reunion this summer. I’ve got my status for that as “not attending.”

    I’ve still got a little over three months to decide if I want to go or not, but I’m 99 percent sure that I don’t want to go. I don’t want to do any sort of reminiscing whatsoever about a four-year period of time I absolutely hated. And if I’m forced to dress up to attend, then you can count me out because I cannot stand dressing up. Also, it’s not like I’m eager to see anyone of my former classmates anyway.

    • SDC
      April 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Not knowing anything about you, or your high school experience beforehand, and based purely on your comment, i’d say you had a way worse high school experience than I did (hated it, don’t want to see anyone), and this event probably isn’t for you. Mine turned out to be a good time, but I wouldn’t blame you if you ditched; especially if there is a dress code.

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