The value of facebook: Reuniting old friends 4

My wife is a relative newcomer to facebook (I have been on since 2005). She has been drawn in by the fact that over the last three months or so many of our former high school friends have been joining up. As more friends have joined you of course find it actually working as a social network (those who promote “social networking” often forget that it helps to have “real” friends on the network in the first place). In the last two weeks Elizabeth began to read reports about a high school classmate who was in his final battle with brain cancer. What transpired was a remarkable and truly communal memorialization, aided in part by facebook. Elizabeth has written about it on her blog and, of course, in her notes on facebook.

Facebook: Where our Personal History Comes Alive

I had not spoken to or seen John since our 1985 graduation from Robinson High School in Fairfax, Virginia. In the past couple months many of us have reconnected through Facebook and have enjoyed seeing photos of kids and catching up on news from many of the 900+ classmates from that year.

Recently a mutual friend posted John’s link to a daily journal of his battle with brain cancer. He was fighting hard, in good Navy SEAL spirit. Hundreds of friends wrote him words of encouragement everyday and his wife tapped away at the computer in the dead of night when all was quiet to update his status. John lost his battle on January 18. His obituary ran today in the Virginia Pilot linked here .

Read more: Facebook: Where our Personal History Comes Alive


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4 thoughts on “The value of facebook: Reuniting old friends

  • Richard Wright

    I am not a big fan of social networking sites mainly because I feel like I/we already have a hundred different blogs, sites, emails, portals and so on to check each day. Sheesh!

    My wife does not care for facebook for the same reason plus she confuses it with the much more problematic MySpace. (We also try to know what our kids are doing online.)

    That having been said… Because of facebook I have gotten in touch with several people from high school and college. (I had been in touch with *no one* from high school and pretty much only Chris Brady and Armand Velez from college.) Even though we may not be drinking buddies or get together… it is nice to at least touch base. (Split *that* infinitive!)

    They can keep all the games, polls, “who shares your taste in movies”, write-on-their-wall stuff – just too much to do and keep track of. But the getting-in-touch part has been surprisingly welcome.

    • Chris Brady Post author

      There are certainly too many “social media outlets” out there to keep up with, no doubt. And we keep a close eye on what our kids are doing online. For example, Izzy has a facebook account and an email address but I monitor them both. I know who her “friends” are and what email she receives.

      But this is what is so nice about facebook. I abhor the polls, etc. (they can be harmless fun of course) but it is such a nice and convenient way to stay in touch with friend and reconnect without a lot of heavy lifting. Heck, my mother-in-law just joined because she realized it is the surest way for her to see pictures of the grandkids!

      Now my dear Dr. Wright, this brings me to my criticism. If you have gotten back in touch with friends via facebook why am I not your friend on said social network? I am hurt, nay, wounded deeply! 😉

      • Richard Wright

        Ack! Oversight plus I was genuinely unaware that you have been on facebook (since 2005 no less). And for some bizarre reason you never have come up as “someone you might know”. Will correct that asap.

        • Chris Brady Post author

          Well, I looked for you but you must not have a picture up and there are quite a few Richard Wrights…. (Believe it or not! One even a deceased musician, apparently.)