virtual reunion

I am not embarrassed to admit that I watched inaugural festivities (on and off…okay, mostly on) for about 12 hours on Tuesday. Everything was fascinating, including what was for lunch at the Inaugural Luncheon and the Obamas dancing at the balls (although Michelle’s gown was too long and I felt bad for her, having to fling it out of the way every few dance steps). I even found those moving vans outside the White House to be fascinating. Since I was watching online at CNN/Facebook, it was a very different experience for me. So many of us were watching alone in our homes or offices or home offices, but at the same time we weren’t completely isolated because we could update our Facebook status on the side of the screen and see what everyone else was writing. We were able to connect with each other on that important day.

Something like this would have never been possible a few years ago, younger neighbors. I know it’s hard for you to imagine a world without the Internet, but that world existed and we lived in it. We did things like write letters and go to the library to find stuff out and call back when we got a busy signal (which is still the case with my phone, actually). We made mix tapes from the radio and pressed rewind on our Walkman if we wanted to hear a song over. We only watched what was on TV at the time we wanted to watch something.

Dude. It was an entirely different world.

Now we have things like Facebook. We can connect with people we would normally never connect with. Or reconnect with. Which is fine for days like Tuesday or if you really want to find someone. But what about people you never want to see again?

The weird thing about this new world of hi-tech reality is that people I went to high school with can find me. Including people I never talked to. Which is fine because we’re older and nostalgia tends to wash past events in peaceful pastel watercolors and it’s all good. I sent friend requests to some kids I wasn’t friends with because I’m wondering what they’re doing now. But here’s the thing. There are some people I just don’t want to have a virtual reunion with. Especially this one girl.

Let’s call her…Sally. Sally was so mean to me I cannot even tell you. She wouldn’t let me sit at her table in lunch. She made fun of my discount clothes. When she talked to me, she never looked me in the eye. Her line of sight always hovered somewhere above my right eyebrow. She spewed negativity. So no, Sally. I will not be accepting your friend request. Your friend request is a joke. However, it’s been fun reconnecting with everyone else, regardless of whether or not we were friends. And the thing we mostly write on each other’s walls? Is how weird it is to reconnect like this, using a format we never imagined back then.

Team Technology, you win this round.

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4 thoughts on “virtual reunion

  1. Sometimes I wish I could visit that world you just described, just for a bit to feel what it was like. I dunno, e-mail and IM conversations and the ability to have things *now* seem less tangible than a letter written in a friend’s handwriting with their scribbles and drawings, and you can hold it in your hands. Once you turn off the computer, e-mail and this LJ comment are temporarily gone. Dx
    But I do appreciate it all. How else would I be able to talk to you right now? xP I loved When It Happens, by the way, and the ideas of creative visualization. Really helped me out during a rough part of my life. Sankyou. :]

    • Exactly! I’m always saying how an actual letter from a friend, seeing their handwriting and what pen they used and being able to save that special letter for a long time, means so much to me. I used to have lots of pen pals and I would get so excited when I received a new letter. That excitement is gone.
      In a different way, I’m excited when I get a comment by a new neighbor like you 🙂 Giraffes rock. Thanks!

  2. Screen names are your friend. Except that, you’re sort of public now, and have to be to an extent, if you want to promote your books and connect with readers. So that’s challenging!! At least you can block Sally on FB so you never have to virtually cross her path. 😉
    You make a good point about the “different world”. I feel like I have one foot in both, being in my mid-twenties. I definitely had a walkman and my friends and I handwrote notes to each other in high school (many of which I still have). And we made mixed tapes all the time! It took effort! It was not nearly as easy as pressing a button and having the songs you want in your iPod playlist. Hehe.

    • I miss things like the notes I wrote with my friends and wish I still had more of them. But I have to say, getting practically any song you want on iTunes any time is genius. I’ve reconnected with a lot of random music that I never thought I’d hear again. Technology can sometimes rock the house 😉

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