Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Class Reunions??

2 years ago my graduating class celebrated 20 years away from the strange time known as high school. This gave us a chance to catch up with people we had not seen in a long time, and I was able to show some others that I was not the complete loser they thought I would have turned out to be. My question is this, "Are class reunions really necessary today?" With the number of people on the social networks like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter we are able to keep up with just about every classmate we want, and even some of those we don't want, to know about. It seems that everyone is updating their status and uploading photos of themselves, their children & for some - grandchildren. We know where most of the people live, work and what they do, because they post it on line. We know who keeps in contact with whom, and if we are friends with them, know what you two are talking about. We are able to keep up with people who live across the country and even those who would not have the time or resources to attend a class reunion. Most of us have the people we want to "catch up" with in our friend list or we follow them twitter.

These websites offer a great deal more then just the social connection, we are able to grow as humans because of it. We are able to communicate better then we did back in high school because we have to take the time to "read" what our friends posts, even if we disagree with it. We can't interrupt what they are saying, we have time to process their thoughts, we have time to think and then we can respond via the written word - which they will read has well. We learn to be more patience, because the person we are communicating with may not be able to respond as quickly as we would like. We learn "things" about each other, and even if we disagree we learn to accept them for it because we realize that they have not changed, this is the same person we have been friends with all along. We learn "things" about ourselves when we accept those "things" our of friends.

In a way we are having a "class reunion" just about everyday we log-in into one of these social networks. The only thing that we are missing is the ability to hug or shake hands of the other party; that and the great parties that go along with it.

I am a product of public education. If you find any typographical or grammatical error please feel free to point them out and I'll attempt to correct it.

1 comment:

EEShaman said...

Hi, Jim,
I just found your website. I am a member of the Programming SIG of the Capital PC User Group. I'm looking for speakers for our meetings. We used to be a Delphi only group but recently switched to C# and .net.

You have a numeric disagreement in the sentence: "If you find any typographical or grammatical error please feel free to point them out and I'll attempt to correct it." Either 'error' should be 'errors' and 'it' should be 'them', or 'them' should be 'it.'

Are you available to speak in downtown DC at our next meeting, August 5th? If so, or if you would be willing to speak at some other time (first Wednesday), please email me at kirk@ospreyhe.com. If you'd like to discuss grammar and how to test for some common faults, I'd love to. I live on Cobb Island so I'm not far away. My mother pounded grammar into me at an early age. It was definitely painful at the time, but now I can't help but notice problems, even without concentrating on them. She's a grammar snob, which I try to avoid becoming, but good usage improves communication. The best writing, like the best user interface, disappears leaving all the focus on the meaning (or functionality).

Personally, I prefer seeing people face to face. I think that there are some subtle forms of communication which are blocked when not in the same room. I go to all my high school reunions. One never knows what one might hear or see.

Kirk Halgren