Has Facebook Made High School Reunions Unnecessary?

The good thing about Facebook is also the bad thing about Facebook: you can connect with people you haven't seen or heard from in years. It's a bit like a reunion that never ends.

So when I received an invitation to join a "Class of 99 Reunion" group, I ignored it. Mostly because I'm not really the reunion type: high school was not really an experience I feel the need to relive, especially in a crappy hotel ballroom in my hometown. But also, because the entire point of a reunion, to catch up with long-lost friends and find out what happened to So-and-So who used to eat his own hair during Biology class has been rendered a bit unnecessary, thanks to Facebook itself.

Almost every person I know has a Facebook account; it's hard to lose track of people, when they are constantly posting about themselves on a daily basis. I've actually locked my profile down, because I'm not really comfortable with getting friend requests from random high school people who are clearly in the biz of either "collecting" friends or using Facebook as a means to facilitate their own personal high school reunions, collecting random gossip and information about long-lost strangers (though I totally understand how fun that can be.)

However, there are a few people that I've connected with on Facebook for these reasons: curiosity has led us to find each other: we want to know what our second grade friends look like, if they have kids, if they ever came out or became a doctor like they said they would, or if they're still dating that jackass from Junior year. The point is this: the people you really want to connect with, you can, without having to travel back home for some giant event where everyone puts on their best clothes and prepares the story of their last 10 years. Facebook provides us with that facade as well: you only see what your former classmates want you to see: their best pictures, their carefully selected favorites, a vision of their lives that seems exciting and fun and perfect.

The invitation to my Class of '99 group is still sitting there; I haven't accepted or rejected it yet. I most likely won't end up going to the real thing anyway, and not just because a night of dancing to "Party Like It's 1999" and watching Drunky McFootball star cry over his glory days doesn't sound like my idea of a good time, but because I feel like our reunion has already taken place, and continues to take place, as we connect with each other not in some stuffy room in our hometown, but from wherever life has taken us in the past 10 years: we may not be the same people we once were, but the wackiness of the internet has allowed us to keep up with who we've become and who we still wish to be.