Lost And Found: Reliving My Life Through Facebook
So Your Ex Friends You On Facebook - Now What?
A few weeks ago, I got the shock of my life when one of my ex-boyfriends sent me a Facebook friend request. We haven't spoken for years and our last time together wasn't exactly a pleasant encounter -- and I hadn't really thought about him for years. In other words, he was about the last person I ever expected to hear from.
Still, nostalgia took over (we did have a few good times, after all) and I clicked that "confirm" button -- and within hours we were suddenly back in each other's lives ... at least virtually.
And there you have the strange phenomenon that is Facebook. On one hand, it's a great tool for social networking and I've enjoyed catching up with old friends. On the other hand, however, I find that encountering so many people from my past and present at the same time can be overwhelming. To wit, my father-in-law and several of my co-workers are my Facebook friends. But then I'm also "friends" with a bunch of people from college, a few people from high school and a whole group of people from my kindergarten class!
Social Networking: When The Past Becomes The Present
Many people who've had near-death experiences say that they saw their lives flash right before their eyes. Well, this is sort of how I've felt when it comes to my Facebook encounters.
Thanks to this site, I've chatted with people whom I haven't spoken with in years. I have even reconnected with a few in person, such as the friend whom I'd lost touch with after she joined the Navy. I am also suddenly being reminded of little details from my past that I've forgotten about. Those aforementioned friends from grade school reminded me of the birthday party I once had where one of the girls knocked down my Barbie dream house. We've reminisced about former teachers and classmates. One even posted a photo of our sixth grade graduation! My parents don't have that many pictures of me from that time period so seeing myself at 12 was like seeing a ghost.
Having these virtual "reunions" online has been a lot of fun, but it can be a bit of an information and nostalgia overload. I'd thought that I'd put everything from my past behind me and had accepted my memories for what they were. Now all of those neat, little boxes are being ripped opened and examined over and over and over again. I kept a journal all throughout my school years so I thought I had pretty detailed memories of my past. But now my past doesn't feel like my past anymore; it's as if the old me and current me are heading on a collision course right there on Memory Lane.
The Facebook Phenomenon
Let's face it -- I don't intend to quit Facebook anytime soon. It's useful, sometimes fun and I have enjoyed catching up with old friends and getting in touch with classmates. It's just that there's a lot less mystery than there once was. Forget about wondering what your old bunkmate from camp is now doing ... all I have to do is log onto Facebook to see that she's currently eating a bowl of cereal while watching a rerun of The Loveboat and simultaneously juggling oranges! Filling in the blanks on my memories is nice, but with Facebook, I'm getting said blanks filled and then some.
Which begs the question, will nostalgia even exist in the future? When everything from one's past is front and center at all times, is it even still your past anymore?
I guess these are questions for another time because thinking about this too much just makes my head hurt. I think I'll wind down by taking a Facebook quiz ... and then seeing if my nursery school teacher's brother's wife's cousin's mechanic is online....
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