Monday, September 24, 2012

Will Facebook Make Reunions Unnecessary?

This past weekend, my wife and I watched the latest in the American Pie series, American Reunion, and enjoyed it. All of the main characters from the original were back (even though that wasn't the case for some of the other sequels), and a cast know for making audiences laugh did their part. However, once the movie was over, my mind flipped to social media and made me wonder: "will Facebook make reunions unnecessary?"

What's the Point?

Reunions are a big deal to many people, including my parents who now have an annual reunion because their graduating class has remained close many decades after graduation. And they really do it up! They enjoy connecting with their long time friends, learning about how their jobs are going, how fast their kids are growing up, and the other usual "reunion" chatter.

But think about it, with Facebook, don't you already know the answers to the majority of those questions? Of course you do. You see them answered in daily posts, photo galleries, profile updates, and more. Certainly Facebook doesn't replace the human interaction element (which is of huge importance), but if definitely changes the conversation quite a bit.

What Reunions Likely Will Look Like

Do I think reunions are going away -- not for a long, long time. But I do think they will eventually, go away, and here's why.

If you're like most people, you're probably connected to 95% of the people that you truly want to keep in touch with either through social media channels, true friendship, kid's sports, etc... Getting together every 10 years to see the other "5%" probably isn't going to be as big a draw as it was before technology evolved.

I love that I don't have to wait ten years to find out that a buddy I haven't seen for fifteen years just had their third child, or that a college friend owns one of the most popular restaurants in Chicago -- that's great information, and I'm so happy for them. But I love consuming that on a daily basis - not a once per decade basis.

We continue to get more and more connected, which is why I think reunions will become unnecessary for the simple fact that we'll all be more in touch than ever. And while I think it's entirely possible that the next stage will be virtual reunions via Google Hangouts or something as a way to connect people that are geographically dispersed, I do think it's just a stepping stone towards extinction.

For those that don't like reunions, this is good news. No more awkward conversations. No more feeling shitty because you can't remember that dude's name. And ladies, no more dealing with the drunk divorced guy that had a huge crush on you in high school...

Reunions have served a great purpose, but I think they may have run their course.

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