Not to sound elitist (read: I’m probably going to sound elitist), but I found out quickly that using social networking sites to reconnect with “old friends” was largely silly. That’s not to say that I wasn’t guilty of it myself. As soon as I jumped onto MySpace, I started looking up people from my childhood. In fact, I still occasionally do that today, wondering if the girls that whose beauty I would give my left testicle for still inspired that kind of stupid behavior with their current looks.
This, of course, gets harder with age. These girls are now women and stand a good chance of being married and have a different name. They may have moved to another state, maybe another country. Sometimes I have to roll back the tumblers on the ol’ internal clock and see if I can remember tidbits of information about them to guess where and how they might end up presently. If nothing else, I have to plug-in what I know, like high school, age, etc., in the provided search tools and hope I catch something. To be honest, you need elite skiptracer skills to find these people sometimes.
Getting back to my point: once whatever curiosity you had about the person is satisfied, there’s typically no other reason to continue the relationship. Sure, I think a lot of people put some effort into actually reconnecting, but I don’t think the majority of these re-found friendships really last or re-blossom beyond a face in their friend’s list. If I’m right – and I think the statistics are there to support me – I’d chalk up the re-disconnect to the fact that people naturally stay in touch with people they care to stay in touch with.
Now that I’m on Facebook, I just recently had a small spurt of invites from people I haven’t talked to since maybe sophomore year in high school. A few people I haven’t had a real conversation with since middle school. When I got these invites I was fairly taken aback. I mean, they might as well have been strangers, really, but here they are, approaching me as if we’ve been friends forever, but just haven’t talked in a while. After the initial catch-up, the correspondence dies off fast and then you’re stuck with this person in your friends list who isn’t really your friend and now they’re getting newsflashes on all of your impertinent status updates.
I think I hate running into people like this because these moments feel too much like résumé comparing. In every one of these meetings, without fail, someone has to ask, “What do you do now?” Then you both do the rundown: job, rent or own, married or single, kids, car(s), status, bye. That’s not quite the reconnection I’m looking for.
On a side note, there are also those people who just hunt you down and add you, because they knew you once, but then that’s it. Once you’re “friends” they don’t message you or leave comments on your page. They just sit there in your friends list, staring at you. This kind of move is just as inane as adding people, pretending you’re good friends.
To be honest, the only people from my past that I track down are those that I lost contact with, but not for a lack of trying. To me, this is the only kind of reconnection that’s worth anything and that lives up to its name. A relationship was severed unnaturally and I’m just trying to see if the ends still fit.
I should note, however, that if one of those hot chicks from my past should add me now, pretending we’ve been friends all our lives, I won’t mind provided they’re single, without kids, drug and disease free, and, above all else, still hot.