Sunday, June 8, 2008

When Facebook Doesn't Cut It: The Case for Attending Reunions

Facebook is a great tool for staying in touch with old friends. With its help I have learned when my friends got married, changed jobs, moved, had a baby, or just got a little too drunk last weekend. However, there is no substitute for hearing the story about those drunken escapades from the horses mouth or meeting someone's new spouse. For some things the difference between Facebook and seeing someone in person is akin to the difference between playing Guitar Hero and actually playing the guitar. I for one can annihilate Slash in Guitar Hero, but on the real guitar the only thing getting annihilated would be my audience's ears.

In any case, I decided Facebook wasn't cutting it for me and went to my five year college reunion this weekend. I ended up being absolutely stunned at the efficiency of the event. I saw my four roommates who live in Michigan, Ontario, New York, and Washington D.C. One of my friends was in from Shanghai. I saw friends that I hadn't seen or spoken to since graduation and I even got to spend time talking with some people that I didn't know that well when I was in school. From a financial perspective (how else would I think about it?) the experience of my college reunion was extremely cost efficient. The whole weekend ended up costing me about $1,000 including a flight and lodging. It would have cost many multiples of that to see all those people in any other setting. More importantly I reconnected with lots of people that I care deeply about and had a great time doing it. The next time you get an invite to a high school or college reunion, I highly recommend going. Once you get there you will be very glad you did (and your wallet will be too because the alternative is quite costly).

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