Anybody have a class reunion coming up soon? I skipped my 25th high school reunion last year and even though I disappointed a few friends, they understood my reasons. I didn’t have many vacation days left. Flying cross country and back for two days would have been expensive and, as I get older, exhausting. Ideally, I would have liked to take my kids and made it a week’s vacation, with time to visit New York City. But that would have been pretty pricey, and again requiring vacation time I did not have! Back again to square one with the arguments against going. So, I skipped it, and frankly wasn’t too sad about it. Thanks to facebook, I felt pretty much “caught up” with my friends anyway.
Apparently, I was a little ahead of a now-identified trend. Just today I listened to an NPR report on the same topic. In it, the reporter also addressed what alumni organizers are doing to try and lure people like me back into the fold. They’re pushing the idea of “unplugging” for one night. A trip back in time – to the days before we were addicted to the world wide web and text messaging.
It’s a hard sell. Yes, the recession’s likely played into some people’s decisions not to make the trek, or the investment in that to-die-for-dress for the occasion. However, the lure of virtually connecting with old friends and acquaintances is a pretty powerful pull. Imagine – no awkwardness of having face to face conversations. No worrying that people may be judging your appearance – because you’ve posted the most flattering pictures of yourself on your facebook page instead. Heck – even the professional connections you might be interested in making can be accomplished via LinkedIn.
For the record, I am hoping to make it back for my 30th. I still prefer living in the real world, not just the virtual one….even though I can thank the virtual world for adding a little something to my anticipation. Through facebook, I’ve discovered I have plenty of things in common with some classmates I didn’t know too well in my teens. I’m looking forward to connecting with them on a whole new plane. 30 years after the fact. Now that’s worth the price of admission.