“So what have you been up to for the past ten years?”
I love going to reunions. My family has one every year. I even go to my college reunion on off years (i.e. not on the 5’s or 10’s). In fact, we just had my high school reunion this past weekend. It is just a lot of fun to see people whom you aren’t really that close to and get an update on how they are doing.
But I hate the “What have you been up to?” question. I realize the need to find some sort of common ground, but many people don’t really know when to stop talking. I don’t mean this in a bad way, as if I can’t handle when people keep talking; however, it is kind of rude to stop a story in the middle just because I want to move on. There are a select few that I really want to know how life is and what is going on. I just want a quick summary for most people. If I am interested, I’ll ask follow up questions.
There was a great shirt idea floating around that my best friend and I talked about beforehand. It would be a plain shirt with 4 lines. On one line would be your name. Another line would be where you live. A third line would be your job. And a fourth line would be “Other”. That last line could be used for “I have a 2 year old child” or I ride motorcycles for fun”. This would be just something to eliminate the awkward “getting to know you” stage.
But this is the beauty of Facebook.
Because many of the people at reunions may be your friend on facebook, you might have checked out their page and had a general idea of what they were up to. It eliminates some of the awkward, “where are you now?” conversations and people are familiar with what others are up to far faster than they would have been 10 or 15 years ago.
One of the people who I talked to this weekend said that she didn’t look at her yearbook before the reunion. I’ll be honest, I glanced at it, but I didn’t go on a full out study session with it. I didn’t need to. 75% of the people who showed up are people who I would have known or just had to get a quick refresher on who they were on Facebook. The downward trend of yearbooks are a whole other topic all together, but hopefully you can see why. Facebook provides a yearbook type setting, where your page can be constantly updated. Your peers can see what you are up to NOW, and you can more easily have a jumping off point in conversations.
So instead of those clunky catch up conversations, you can jump right in. The reunions I have been to have been a blast, and new media has played a part in making it so.