My 30-year high school reunion is this year. My attendance is unlikely, mostly because the few friends from that time with whom I stay in touch aren't going either. Vacations, family plans, miles of concrete have gotten in the way. It's alright. Truthfully I've been able to reconnect with nearly all my old friends through social media sites like Facebook. And since I attended 3 high schools in 4 years, I really never knew that many of my fellow grads anyway.
My high school years were rather unremarkable. I was the invisible kid. Bad at sports, joined no clubs, wasn't in a band, never had a date. I just "did my own time" as the jailhouse saying goes. Got up, went to class, came home, did homework, watched TV. Then, late in my senior year, I discovered diners, and that it was possible to hang out for hours with a few friends just shooting the shit at some greasy spoon. A few of us who were also dateless non-athletes spent our nights driving around the county from diner to diner, I think secretly hoping we'd discover a group of stranded Penthouse Pets whose van had broken down. That never happened.
Thirty years later, I look back o that time and try to make sense of it in terms of our society's current techno-obsession with interconnectedness. These days, every high school kid seems to have a cell phone, as well as s Facebook or Myspace page and maybe even a Twitter account. I remember trying to gather the courage to pick up the lime green Princess phone to call a girl for a date (only to be gently told to go away by said girl). These days it must be easier. You chat on FB, share photos, etc. There are so many ways to interact using simply your laptop. Certainly would have helped me eliminate those stammering awkward phone calls.
I do think teens have it easier now. Yes, there are stalkers and crazies. But generally the Net creates a more even footing. the jocks have their playing field, but on the Net, nobody cares how fast you can throw or run. Social media favors the witty, the snarky, the darkly funny, the geeks. Can't help but wonder if I might have participated in my life to a greater degree had today's technology been available then.