So I like the Facebook. (Much like I like the Google.) It’s fun to play Scrabble, change status updates, post pictures, and all that good stuff. But BY FAR my favorite thing to do on Facebook is going into the friend lists of some of my more distant Facebook friends.
Because that doesn’t sound creepy at all.
Let me explain: Growing up, we moved when I was in 3rd grade. So from pre-school to 3rd grade I had this one group of friends and classmates, and then from 3rd grade to 8th grade I had another group of friends and classmates. But after 8th grade, instead of going on to the public high school like most of my class, I jumped ship and went to a Catholic high school, where, coincidentally, I re-friended and re-classmated some of the people from the first group. But consequently, lost track of most of the second group.
But now, by the power of Facebook*, I have reconnected, at least virtually, with a lot of the friends and people I knew in junior high. I know this is not news to anyone, and probably a goodly number of you are having the same “Gee, isn’t this neat!” kind of feeling, but I just have to stress that I find reconnecting with classmates fascinating. For two reasons:
1) I feel like junior high was a long time ago. (Because, well, it was.) But I am also, frankly, flattered that anyone from junior high who did not go on to the same high school as I did remembers me. I don’t know why, I just kind of figured that they forgot about me since I didn’t go to high school with them, and we didn’t stay in touch? Even though I remember them? I can’t pinpoint my thought on why I think this, but there you go.
2) My junior high Facebook friends are friends with other junior high classmates who I knew, and for the most part liked, and was friendly with, but never really friends with them. A lot of these people they went on to high school with, possibly even college. And scrolling through the friend lists of my junior high Facebook friends I am seeing names that make me pause, smile, and think, “OH MY GOD, I REMEMBER HIM! He was so hot when he was 12. Wow…he’s still hot now.” Or some such. There are names that pop out at me that I haven’t heard since the summer before freshman year of high school, girls I played softball with, or just friends of neighborhood kids I knew.
Granted, similar thoughts and feelings occur with high school Facebook friends, but it’s not quite the same. Maybe because before Facebook, I really had no connection to my life between 3rd grade and high school. So these names I’m seeing, friends of junior high friends, are names that I haven’t heard in a really long time. And were it not for Facebook, I might never have heard them again.
And it’s fun to see what these people look like now, to see if they still look like their 12-year-old self, or if they are completely unrecognizable. Because maybe the last memory of that person is of him or her wearing Cross Colors overalls, or playing the flute in band. (Maybe those things were simultaneous. It was the 90s.)
So thanks, Facebook, for throwing me a line to my past, which is gone, but certainly not forgotten. And for showing me that the kid from World History who we all thought was a little crazy turned out to be a pretty decent guy after all.
*Why yes, it is like the power of Grayskull.