Let’s face it, Facebook is an amazing thing. The ability of a social networking site to bring people together is incredible. Being able to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, and to become more closely connected with new friends and colleagues is a great thing.
But there’s also a bit of Facebook that makes me think the adage, “You can’t go home again” is true. I’ve reconnected with a few high school classmates, some former colleagues and friends who, at the time, I never thought I’d lose touch with, but did.
This morning I got caught in the Facebook trap and spent a lot more time on it than I ever intended. It was because of a friend suggestion someone made about another person — a person I didn’t recognize and couldn’t remember. So I spent some time looking through my senior high school yearbook to find this person and jog my memory.
That search got me thinking about the people from high school and what they’re up to now. I doubt anyone would guess what’s happened in my life since we donned those dorky caps and gowns back in 1985. So, I figured, it would be nice to reconnect with comrades from Waterford Mott High School and see what they’re up to.
So I did a Facebook search for those who have listed themselves as being from my alma mater. I didn’t find any. I don’t think I did, anyway. There are a couple of people listed that I remember from my senior class — but we’ve already found each other on Facebook. There were a couple of people who I thought might be someone I remember, but their name isn’t unique enough to prove it’s really them, and their pictures are of people at least 20 years older than the last time I saw them. (To be fair, anyone looking for me might trigger on the unusual name, but my on-line persona is a green peanut M&M, so I’m not helping other searchers out, either.)
What I did discover while searching for Mott alumni was the following, in no particular order:
- People on Facebook really should think twice, and maybe three times, about what they use for their picture. (Says the guy who looks like a green peanut M&M – yeah, whatever, deal with it.)
- The current students at Mott seem to have a flair for posting pictures of themselves that have more shock value than most. (Here’s hoping they take them down before looking for a job…)
- “I can’t believe that’s what ____ looks like now!” (Assuming that’s really them.)
- I wonder what people think when they see my page and get a glimpse of my life when they search for Waterford Mott alumni.
- This is depressing — people that graduated back in the 1980s look older than seems possible and people going there now all look so, well, young. (Yeah age is a perception thing, but it also can be a slap-in-the-face reality check when you least expect it.)
- Maybe you can’t go home again.
That last bullet point may seem depressing, and I don’t mean it to be. But the reality is “home” isn’t there anymore. Now, granted, I moved around a lot as a kid, so I don’t have the type of hometown feeling that someone like my fiancee might, because she grew up in the same house in the same town, and her parents still live there. She “goes home” all the time.
Maybe it’s better to think another old saying really is true, too. “Home is where the heart is.” I have a wonderful fiancee, I have two beautiful kids. I have a great job, I have a nice house. I like the community I’m living in and have wonderful friends here. This is where I belong. This is where I am happy.
Maybe the issue is that “you can’t go home again” is misleading. Perhaps we don’t need to “go home,” because home comes to you.
That sounds better and a lot less depressing. OK, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Yeah, Ari, don’t complain. I’m a firm believer that Facebook is the devil. It only takes one or two crazies from the past who you were happy to leave there tracking you down and wanting to “reconnect” to forever paint little red horns on the application’s pointy head.
That said… awesome tool. I use it and mostly love it. But it’s still the devil.
Perhaps if you went to a class reunion you might recognize more of the people you went to school with :))
I went to Kettering. My oldest friend went to Mott. Her maiden name was Paula Watson. Is this the place I should look? I couldn’t find her on other sites. Can you help? Thanks, Beth
Beth, I did a quick search on Facebook and there are pages of people name Paula Watson on there. Some women are logging in under maiden names, others are using hyphenated names on Facebook even if they don’t in real life so friends from their past can find them. You also can search for alumni from a school. So, yes, I’d say it’s worth a shot to find someone you’re looking for on Facebook.
Recently, I’ve reconnected with several members of the Waterford Mott Drama Club who were in it with me in the mid-1980s. We’ve had enough fun reconnecting on line that we’re doing a mini reunion in a couple of weeks. Of course, that’s a blog post just waiting to happen… 🙂