Facebooking Your High School Reunion


This article originally appeared in 24hrs Vancouver on August 6, 2008.

20080806 24hrs cyberbuzzKris Lee missed her 10-year high school reunion. She graduated in 1988 as part of one of the largest classes in the province, nearly 1000 students from Centennial in Coquitlam. She didn’t get a notice about the reunion until a friend drove past the school and saw the billboard outside when it was already too late.

Now, as plans for her 20th reunion get put in motion, Kris won’t be missing it – she’s helping to organize it, and with the help from a little tool called Facebook, hopefully no names will be left off the invite list.

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With social networks, reconnecting with long lost friends is easier. Once you add all your immediate circle, the next Facebook step is to dig up your yearbooks and enter every single name you recognize to sleuth and snoop to see what they’re up to.

“Some people just want to know what you’re doing, just to see if they’ve one upped you. But for people who really want to reconnect with friends, it gives you an avenue,” says Kris. “ I’ve already used it to meet with Joanne, the head of the committee, who was my locker partner in grade 11!”

centennial class of 88 Lynne Davies, Kim RozeckiSome may think social networks ruin all the good surprises a reunion can bring, but not for Rob McMahon. “It’s kinda made me interested in going to my reunion next year,” he says.

Using the internet worked for Tyler Ingram’s reunion. “Facebook made it easier in getting in touch with people for our highschool reunion,” he says. “The turn out was great.”

In addition to using Facebook as a way to find names and email addresses, the grad committee also has a Facebook group for Centennial’s Class of 88, already about 20% of the class has joined.

“It’s opened it up to tons of photos. I’m sure there’s some photos that a lot of people aren’t happy with,” Lee laughs.

Tanya Davis agrees that Facebook acts as a good research tool, but it can’t be used to replace the real life reunion.

“Just because I can see people digitally, it doesn’t mean we’re really interacting,”
she says. “In real life is the ONLY way to go. No comparison, for me.”

Facebook isn’t only a good research tool for the organizers, but the attendees as well. You can reconnect with your old pals and get some of the small talk out of the way.

“If I’m chatting with you at the reunion, half of it might be about school and all those stupid things, but we’re not going to really get personal,” says Kris. “Where you can find out more information than I would ever have time to tell you in person at a reunion, which is kind of frightening, is on Facebook.”

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5 Comments

  1. August 6, 2008

    Hey cool, thanks Buzz for the mention!

    Yes my class of 1997 had their reunion set up via Facebook, infact I suggested to one of my classmates who was getting in touch with people via Facebook that she should set up an ‘event’ and invite people to it.

    The date was set, people selected whether or not they would attend and there was discussion about where to have it, how much it would cost and when it would be. After we had successfully had our 10 yr reunion the previous year (1996) had theirs set up through Facebook events as well.

  2. […] the powers of Twitter it seems that Buzz Bishop has written about Facebook and how people are using it to help organize their highschool reunions. My grad class actually did […]

  3. […] sites to plan real-life gatherings a little better. In fact, there is a growing trend toward Facebooking your high school reunion. Most of your grad class is probably already on Facebook, so this makes it very easy to get in […]

  4. August 8, 2008

    Thanks so much Buzz! Word has gotten around some more, got number of calls from friends that saw the article. Thanks again….I’ll put a link to your page on our Reunion Page.

  5. […] high school reunions obsolete? In 2008 I wrote an article about how Facebook was being used as a way to gather students to attend […]

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