Do you know someone who seems to be stuck in a high school time warp?
Why do some people seem stuck on the past? Is it that the time they spent in high school was the summit of their glory days, and they can't move past it?
I could not sleep the other night, so I decided to surf around the net a little bit and check my email. I have a personal Facebook account, but I do not use it a lot. I usually use Facebook Pages for business and I do not bother with my personal page too often. I keep it limited to close friends and family only; and use it for stuff like posting family photos or stories about the kids that only those really close to me would probably care about seeing. I do have one person on my personal Facebook that I went to high school with. I have known her since I was in elementary school, and she lived in my neighborhood while growing up. She was one of my best friends during high school, and she still is. I received an email from her, stating that someone else from high school named Bob had asked her about me by contacting her through Facebook. Bob wanted to know if she knew where and how I was, and how to contact me. I am fairly difficult to find on Facebook unless directly invited, because my user id is not my name, and I did not list my school info, etc. I also look nothing like I did then, so chances are that even if someone from school saw a pic of me now they would not know who I was.
So I logged into my personal Facebook account intending to add Bob and say Hello, since he had specifically asked about me. We were not exactly best friends, but he was a great guy that I had liked and respected, and did hang out with pretty often back then. When I got to his Facebook page, I was totally amazed. Bob has about 2000 friends, and only about five of them were people I did not recognize as having gone to our high school. I was one of the very few people who had passed through that school within our four year time period that was not on his friends list. The only other person who immediately stood out as missing from our class was the weird girl named Mandy; who smelled horrible, walked around muttering to herself all the time or yelling at people for no reason, and claimed God spoke to her telepathically. Due to what appears to be Bob’s obsession in finding and listing everyone, I suspect that she probably would have been included too; except that last I heard she was in the loony bin, and they probably don’t provide computer access there.
On top of that, prior to asking my friend directly, he had posted to his wall asking everyone if they had seen or heard from me. This prompted a ton of people responding about their last sighting of me, most of which were ages ago. After high school I had entered into basic training for the Army, and the last time most of them had seen or heard from me was just before I deployed to Germany in 1991. After coming back to the US, I moved to another state.
I have to say that I was totally floored. It has been 18 years since we graduated. I can see keeping touch with people that you were genuinely friends with, but I have no desire to monitor the activities of 2000 people I have (for the most part) not seen or thought about in ages. Why do I care what is going on with the prom queen, the guy who ran the chess club, or the head of the student council after all this time? High school is long since in my past. I now live across the country from where I attended school, and have made lots of new friends. Isn’t that what reunions are for; so that you can come back 20 or 30 years later and get your updates all at once on what happened in people’s lives? Do you really need ongoing daily notifications by monitoring the Facebook walls of every person from your high school all these years later?
Unless he is strictly using Facebook as a means of keeping track of classmates and does not list his friends he has made later in life, it would seem that he has very few friends that did not attend our school. I know that he has remained local, but has he not made any new friends at work? Has he not met anyone else since then through other activities like playing softball or bowling? No friends of friends that went to other schools? I find this to be really odd. He almost seems to be stuck in some kind of time warp.
Needless to say, I left without replying or sending him a friend invite. While it might have been nice to chat with him or maybe a few select others and say hello, I had no desire to have my personal Facebook id outed to the other 2000 people who would then be able to find me, and start sending me the same “do you remember when” blather. I simply do not have the time or the desire to keep up with all of them that closely. I have a very busy life now that is based on my friends and activities from the present time; I am not trying to re-live high school. I do not care that Amanda’s cat just had five kittens; it adds no value to my life. I did not even like Amanda in high school, so I definitely don’t care about trivial news from her life now.
Why do people do things like this? Is it that their adult lives are boring in comparison to having been the captain of the football team? Is it a way of refusing to get older, to grow up and expand their horizons? Do they just have nothing better to do with their time? Was their high school experience so compelling that they just cannot let go of it and move on?
Regardless of the reasoning, I am sorry Bob. You will just have to wait a few more years and ask me in person how I am doing. I will see you all at each ten year reunion, and at least then what we have to say to each other may be interesting, because it will be news.