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October 26, 2010

Facebook Nostalgia

So last night, I got into a nostalgic mood, and this was the result. As I said in that post, one of the things I do late at night when I'm all alone is get a bit nostalgic.

I posted a brief status update on Facebook about writing late at night. And got a quick response from an old high school friend that I've been FB friends with for a while now.

And it hit me.

You know, this Facebook thing is actually pretty cool.

Yeah, I understand all of the "why would you want people you went to high school with to find you? If I wanted to be 'friends' with them, I would have stayed in touch with them! Or them with me" comments. Or even the "all of the people I went to high school with that I'm not still in touch with are losers anyway" ones.

And yes, there are people who you meet up with on Facebook and then realize "you know, we don't really have that much in common and I'm just not that interested in keeping up on your life." I've been dropped by a few high school friends, I assume for that reason (I don't follow up), but I can honestly say I've never dropped anybody that way.

Maybe I'm the different one. Maybe it's the fact that I *wasn't* that social in high school that makes me want to rekindle some of that. Not much, obviously, as we're in far-flung areas of the world. But just a touch, that window into our lives that we provide those we welcome into our Facebook neighbourhood.

That little bit of interaction that stems from comments made on our status updates, or our pictures, or whatever. Playing some of the Facebook games with them, that sort of thing.

I saw that "like" last night on my status update, and I felt a little bit of a kindred spirit. Two people, thousands of miles away from each other, and over 20 years since we last saw each other, just having that little touch of companionship, that shared experience, and I felt a small rush of good feelings, not just toward her, but just in general. Another small stitch added to that social fabric of my life; one that I don't always realize is there until it springs up at me unexpectedly.

Another example was New Year's Eve 2009-10. I was up by myself again, just looking at stuff on the computer: reading blogs, discussion forums, whatever. I decided to do something I rarely do and see who was "online" on Facebook Chat. It was 1:30 in the morning for me, and I saw another high school friend on there, one who also currently lives in the Midwest, so it was 3:30 for her.

On any chat service, I rarely initiate one just because I don't want to intrude (yes, that is my failing, and I admit to it). But something just made me click on her name and wish her a happy new year. We chatted for about 5-10 minutes and it was really nice. I again felt that expanding of my social fabric, a rush of contact with another person I haven't seen for 20 years.

Most of these high school friends on my FB friends list, I will never actually see again, unless I manage to make it to a reunion (I wouldn't be averse to a mini-reunion of a few people, sometime when I'm home, of course). And I will probably never consider them close friends in the sense that I don't think they would help me hide a body, but it's enough to know they're out there. That they remember me (unless they've got so many people on their FB friends list that they might not even remember accepting the request), that they see a small fraction of my life and I see the same of theirs. That we do interact occasionally, even if it's just a comment on some aspect of their life that they decided to put down on their page.

Yes, it's a bit overly nostalgic as well, and it's very possible that they don't feel the same way. We're not all wired that way, and maybe I'm too sentimental for my own good sometimes.

But does that make it wrong?


  1. It.s okay to be sentimental. I,m afraid you may have gotten that trait from your mom. I.m about as sentimental as anyone I know. I think it.s a good trait to have.

  2. I've had random interactions with HS friends through status updates, etc. It is a pretty good feeling.

    "And I will probably never consider them close friends in the sense that I don't think they would help me hide a body," - hmm now I'm worried about what you do with your close friends lol. =P

  3. Thanks, Mom. :)

    Anahid, you don't want to know what we get up really don't. LOL

    Seriously, though, I thought the piece was so serious and wallowing in nostalgia that it needed a bit of a humorous break.

  4. Haha! But I love the way you put it in there & continued with what you were saying. No "JK' or anything...made it funnier to me.

  5. Glad you liked it! That's the very reason I didn't put it in there.

    I'm glad it worked for somebody. :)

  6. Completely felt the same way!

    I myself have limited Facebook friends - I only 'friend' ppl I have actually known in real life, at some time at least.

    Since we did have a rather large class in high school, and it would have been impossible to get to know everyone, I think it's great to connect and realize you have more in common than you knew. And sometimes you realize you have NOTHING in common and that's ok too.

    Btw- No way I'm helping you hide the body cuz you didn't help me :)

  7. Thanks for being the inspiration for this post, Raquel!

    You make some great points, too. Some people can handle the "nothing in common" and some people just say "to hell with it" and drop you after realizing it.

    And that's ok too. :) I can find out who's dropped me, and I'm always curious who it is. But it never bothers me. I just like to know who not to send a new friend request too, and there have been a few high school "friends" who have done that.

    And I didn't help you hide the body because I didn't know you needed it! I would have been there in a New York minute! Whatever the hell that means. LOL

    This communication thing is a two-way street, you know. :P

  8. Oh, and Anahid, the term I was struggling yesterday to come up occurred to me last night. I thought the piece needed some comic relief.

    Don't know why I couldn't think of that yesterday when I was responding to you.


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