Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Facebook Killed the Reunion

This past weekend S and I headed south for a bit of a college reunion.  Many of my college friends were meeting at a benefit party for one of our friend's sons.  The poor little guy has been in and out of the hospital and the benefit was to raise money for the family.  Our last reunion had been 3 years ago and so I was really looking forward to seeing everybody, especially those who didn't make it to the last reunion :) 

My stomach was filled with butterflies as we approached our destination.  I was having a pretty good hair day (I recently had it highlighted), was wearing a new sweater and was feeling pretty good except for the last of the baby weight hanging out on my belly.  I figured I would just strategically place the baby (yes we had to take her but the event was from 4-8) in front of my "pooch". 

The first person I ran into was my best friend L and her husband.  I see them often but it was so nice to walk into a big crowded room and see her beautiful, familiar face.  After greeting her, I put on my perma grin and got ready to make small talk.  Now I have to admit that I am pretty good at making small talk.  I hate silence and love to talk which means I can talk to just about anybody.  I ask about their lives, jobs, where they live, their kids if they have any etc.  They usually do the same and then once we are comfortable we chat about the "good old times".  I usually love these events.....except this time FACEBOOK RUINED EVERYTHING!!!!

Now this is our first reunion since we all jumped on facebook and I have to say, facebook made it really awkward for me.  FB has helped me to learn a lot about these people and the fact that they may or may not know information about me made small talk very unnatural.  Once I started talking, I realized that I didn't have too much to ask since I knew most of my usual questions but I wasn't yet comfortable to jump into the "good old times" so I floundered like an idiot!  I also didn't want to offer up any info about myself because what if they already knew??  I didn't want to bore them, but then again what if they didn't know anything because they don't really follow me on FB???  And then there was the problem that I have been away from FB for the last month because I gave it up for lent.  Many people were talking about things that they thought I should know about but didn't because I have been away.  It was all just socially awkward!!!!!!

At one point I sat down at the table with my BF and another friend and expressed how much I now hated small talk.  My face was bright red from the last embarrassing conversation I had just had and I decided not to pursue any other people alone.  There is, after all, safety in numbers :)

The entire way back to S's parents house, S and I talked about how facebook is taking the fun and gratification out of being social.  Facebook gives you all of the intelligence and knowledge of things that are going on in your "friends" lives (as if you were in the CIA) without ever having to sit down and talk with anyone.  Now don't get me wrong I have enjoyed my time on facebook, I like being able to reconnect with people and read about what is happening in peoples lives.  It is just unfortunate that I already know everything about people when I sit down to have a conversation with them.....sometimes I wish it were just like the old days.  What do you all think???  Are you on FB?  Have you run into similar problems?

BTW...my mom joined facebook over the weekend and after not even 48 hours realized that it wasn't for her and asked me to deactivate her account.  Have you ever deactivated a FB account??  It is pretty darn funny.  It is kind of like a drug dealer begging you not to stop using their services.  Try it sometime :) 


Beth P. said...

I can completely understand how this could make things awkward. It is terrible the back seat face time is taking to the internet. I am guilty though. It would not be surprising to find out that I've started sentences before with "I just read on facebook..."
I'm sorry it made things difficult! I hope you still had a great time in the end!

Annie said...

Hi, I just want to say that I send your tshirt. During the next couple of days you receive it.

Poolside with the Girls said...

I am a fb addict. I love it because I can keep up on my nieces, brothers, family etc and see what they are up to. Makes me feel closer to them when lots of time goes by between visits.

I posted some photos from high school days the other day and it was like a virtual class reunion. The comments were flying fast and furious and we were laughing so hard. It felt good to be able to laugh at bad selves. People are still posting comments. It was hysterical and we all had so much fun chatting about the pictures. There is such a small chance that any of these people will ever congregate again. Just not going to happen due to geography. I had more fun doing that than I did going to the last class reunion where everyone was caught up in finding out who lost their hair and who got fat and what car you were driving. So for me, it's all good.

I found out on fb that an old friend who lives near me is in need so I rounded up some clothes for her kids. Another friend started a business and we have been helping her get the word out about it via fb.

I work at home and I don't have much time to socialize with say...my ex-boyfriend! So this is perfect. OK that was a bad example :)

Truthfully, I don't get out much. But I have reconnected with so many people who are in the same boat as me...would love to stay in touch, just don't have the time.

It works for me but I can see why some might not like it. ALSO I don't let just anybody into my friends list. I keep it small.

Ok, sorry I'm rambling! I can see why you are not lovin' fb after that reunion.

MamaB said...

I enjoy facebook because with us so far away from anyone else it is just about the only way we stay connected to our friends from the Midwest and some of our extended family. Since most of my college friends are meteorologist and we are all across the U.S. we all haven't been in the same spot together as a group since 2003. So it is about the only way we can keep up.

So sorry it wasn't as much fun as you had hoped, of course I am one of those people who whould probably tell my friends all about what I posted on FB all over again because I never remember what I have and haven't talked about and I am pretty good at making a fool out of myself. Plus, my friends typically the same way.

Connie Weiss said...

When I get together with some friends I do find that we don't have as much to talk about because we've seen it on FB or they've read my blog.

It never occurred to me....but you're right!

Low Expectations said...

Yes, facebook definitely makes it kind of awkward at times.. the only reason I love facebook is that I can keep up with my sister and family or friends who have moved out of state... other than that it is a pain in the ass!

Mom said...

People have found it very funny that I had the shortest FB account on record. But, I must admit that I am happy it is gone.

After talking with a few friends this week, I am not the only one. However, there are some real FB junkies out there. I found out one of the teachers at school was on FB while in labor with her first child a couple of weeks ago. She was giving everyone updates on how things were going right up to and including the birth. Now that is just too much!

Mountain Woman said...

Interesting post about FB. I haven't deactivated my account but I've radically cut my friends list and I don't spend much time on there except to use it as a marketing tool and then keep up with my good friends. I'm so sorry it put a damper on the event for you. But, it's wonderful to have a good hair day :-)

I am Lee-Ann... said...

Hmmm, I would never have thought about that but you are right. I guess the idea is that we are all so busy now a days that we don't actually attend as many social outings as usual. I guess for those you don't see often it would be hard but I'm sure close friends it would still be good to go since there is always more to talk about.

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