Has Facebook Killed The High School Reunion?

I graduated high school in 1990. In November 2010, our class gathered for its 20 year reunion. (But because I suck at blogging, I didn’t blog about it until now.) When I first received the information about the 20 year reunion, I thought, 

Go to my high school reunion? No way! 
Not a chance! 
Only when hell freezes over!
Or when that Justin Bieber kid cuts his hair!

There was no way I could go to my 20 year high school reunion. I was still way too mad at my high school best friend Kelly for stealing my boyfriend Dylan when I spent that summer in Paris. Then I remembered that wasn’t me…that was Brenda Walsh from Beverly Hills 90210.  Huh. I guess I missed my 10 year high school reunion for nothing.

Since my slutty ex-best friend was a work of fiction, there was no reason not to go to my 20 year high school reunion. Right? Wrong. There was still another reason why I was hesitant to attend the reunion.


Who needs a high school reunion when we’ve got Facebook?  I used to spend countless sleepless nights wondering what my old high school classmates were up to. But Facebook solved that problem. Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, I have instant access to a classmate’s birthday, marital status, city, education history, occupation, kids, pets, height, weight, shoe size, bra size, favorite Starbucks coffee drink, high school locker combination, social security number…pretty much everything.  Plus, I can check out photos on Facebook to see who’s addicted to Botox and who really needs to put down the Ding Dongs.

Facebook has killed the high school reunion. Things you learn about classmates at reunions like who’s married, who’s divorced, who’s fat, who’s skinny, who’s bald, who likes to wear a pirate patch for fun, have already been revealed by Facebook. The element of surprise has been taken away. And that’s why I was reluctant to attend my reunion. I mean, since I already know everything about my classmates from their Facebook pages, why would I want to see them at a reunion? I imagined a conversation would go something like this:

Random classmate: Hi! How are you?
Me: Good. How are you?
Random classmate: Good. I saw on your Facebook page that you’re married, you have 2 boys, and you’re a doctor.
Me: Yes, that’s right. I saw on your Facebook page that you’re single, you’re a yoga instructor but your dream is to go back to school to study astronomy.
Random classmate: Yeah, I just love horoscopes!
(awkward silence)
Me: Alrighty then. See you in 10 years at the 30 year reunion.

Thus, I decided not to go to my 20 year high school reunion. Then some friends who were going were all like, You’re not going? Oh, you have to go. It wouldn’t be the same without you. You HAVE to go! I’m not easily swayed by peer pressure, so I still wasn’t going to go. But then I realized, hey, I’m married, I have 2 kids, I’m a doctor AND I weigh the same as I did when I graduated high school.  Why wouldn’t I go to my high school reunion and rub it in my classmates’ faces spend time with my former classmates?  

So I went to my 20 year high school reunion. And guess what? Facebook has not killed the high school reunion. Sure, Facebook has beat up the high school reunion a little bit, kicked it in the nuts a few times, but reports of the high school reunion’s death are greatly exaggerated.

Contrary to Mark Zuckerberg’s popular belief, not everyone is on Facebook.  I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. There were many classmates at the reunion who aren’t on Facebook. And there was a baby at the reunion and I’m pretty sure that baby isn’t on Facebook either. Yes, a baby. The baby belonged to an old high school friend of mine. This friend is not on Facebook so I was quite surprised to see her. And her BABY. Unfortunately we weren’t able to catch up since she had to leave. Because she had to get the BABY home. But that’s OK, because if we did have a conversation I’d be too distracted by Reese Witherspoon’s voice in my head saying, Look at you, you have a baby…in a bar.  

I guess the element of surprise is still alive and well at the high school reunion!

Another advantage high school reunions have over Facebook is alcohol. Reunion + open bar = drunk classmates. Talking to Drunky McDrunkerson at the reunion was highly amusing. You can’t get that drunken entertainment on Facebook. Sure, you can have a Facebook chat with a friend who’s sitting at home in front of their computer drunk without pants. But it’s not the same as chatting with a friend who’s drunk without pants in person. I’m kidding about the pantless part. Everyone at the reunion was wearing pants. Almost everyone. I’m pretty sure that baby wasn’t wearing any pants.

But the biggest surprise of the night was that people read my blog. Shocking, I know. Several people came up to me and said, “Oh, I heard you have a blog” or “I read your blog”.  People I hadn’t seen or talked to in 20 years were reading my blog. And they liked it!  

People actually read my blog.

Uh oh. People actually read my blog.

Since I don’t know who may be reading, it looks like I’m going to have to censor this post. No gossip about the reunion. No comments about which common high school reunion clichés came true. No comments about why my friend said that everything was finally right with the world.

So the high school reunion is not dead; Facebook has not killed it yet. Would I go to my 30 year high school reunion? That’s a good question. I’m sure sometime in the next 10 years, my high school will award me its Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of my accomplishments such as this blog. And successfully removing a condom from a patient’s vagina.  So I’ll definitely have to go to my 30 year high school reunion to rub the award in my classmates’ faces. I mean, to spend another memorable evening with them.


BlogHer ’09

A lot can change in one year. For instance, if one year ago someone had mentioned BlogHer ’09 to me, I would have been totally clueless. My response would have been along the lines of, “BlogHer? What the hell is BlogHer? Leave me alone, I have to check my Facebook!”  Yes, it was approximately one year ago that I dipped my toe into the social media pond and joined Facebook. One year ago I was still in the honeymoon phase of Facebook, when Facebook was fun, not like Facebook now which is lame and aggravating. Somehow Facebook led to joining Twitter which in turn led to the creation of this very blog.

Twitter has introduced me to many friendly, funny and creative people so it’s no surprise that these people have funny, creative and moving blogs.  And it’s through Twitter that I learned that once a year these bloggers get together for a conference devoted to the blogosphere and everything blog-related –  BlogHer.  As the date of BlogHer ’09 got closer, more and more people were tweeting about it. All of this BlogHer talk peaked my curiosity. Maybe I could partake in some of the BlogHer fun, after all, BlogHer ’09 was going to be held in Chicago – Chicago is practically my backyard (that is, if your yard was 25 miles away from your house).   I really wanted to meet in real life the people I follow on Twitter as well as the authors of the blogs I read, but my attempts to procure any type of pass to BlogHer was an epic fail.  I contemplated driving down to Chicago without a BlogHer ticket to just hang out in the lobby of the Sheraton hoping that I’d meet people.  But I figured real BlogHers would be busy doing scheduled BlogHer activities and hanging out in the lobby without a BlogHer pass would be make me a creepy loser wanna-be BlogHer stalker and someone might call security on me.  So I stayed home and lived vicariously through the tweets of others.  I learned a lot about BlogHer including some of the BlogHer lingo: 

BlogHer ’09:  Attended by around 1400 bloggers, this 3 day blogging conference in Chicago at the Sheraton was complete with interesting speakers, discussion groups and opportunities meet with some of the brands that support bloggers.  Oh, and there are lots and lots of parties. 

Swag: free stuff

Bewbs: breasts

Parties: Did I mention there were a lot of parties?

Squee: I’m still not sure what it means to squee.

Reading the tweets from BlogHer I realized that I didn’t belong there. BlogHer is for the blogging community, a community that I’m not part of. Yes, I have a blog, but I have a hard time keeping up with it. I have more drafts than actual posts and I can’t seem to find the time to complete them. So many of the BlogHer attendees balance work and family while maintaining successful blogs that people want to read.  This balance has eluded me, resulting in a small and insignificant blog written by a  small and insignificant blogger. And I’m not sure if BlogHer is the place for a blogger like me. 

As I was reading BlogHer tweets thinking about how there’s no way I could possibly be a part of this blogging community, I received an unexpected tweet.  One of my “in real life” friends, a real social media goddess, had gone to BlogHer for the day and she tweeted:

Key learning (not kidding) is @drlori71 can legitimately call herself a humor blogger. Seriously, you should read her Loripalooza blog.

Me? A legitimate blogger? Well, I wasn’t sure if I agreed with that, but it sure was nice to hear. Plus, it’s not polite to reject unsolicited flattery and giant boosts to the ego, so I gladly accepted it.  Yet, I still found it odd that someone could consider me a legitimate blogger.  But maybe BlogHer ’09  could help me realize my blogging potential.  One thing I learned from BlogHer ’09 is inspiration; the BlogHer attendees have  inspired me to work harder on my blog and really make an effort to post more frequently.  So if one person thinks of me as a legitimate blogger, maybe others will too and I’ll be an accepted member of the blogging community. 

And maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll make it to BlogHer.

And maybe one day the Cubs will make it to the World Series.

Will either of these things actually happen? We’ll just wait and see.