The generation that's growing up with FaceBook is in a unique place. Since most kids probably open an account in their junior high/high school days, many of the people they know early on will be friended early on. Provided they don't shut down their account at any point in time and open a new one, they could theoretically never lose touch with anybody. Of course, this won't be true across the board, but very few of our serious lifelong friendships come before middle school, at least for the majority of us.
Going away to college allowed me to become a different person to a completely different world of people, mostly untouched by the former world I knew in high school. I was even able to have a name change stick. That wouldn't have happened if I went to college with all of my high school friends. I did end up reconnecting with them via FaceBook, along with one guy I had known since kindergarten who also ended up going to LSU (I hadn't heard from him in six years when I was a freshman). I also added middle school friends, which wasn't too distant from my high school friends, since we all lived in the same area. What I never went and did was try to find my grade school friends; I stopped just short of that. Okay, I actually tried to find some of them, but way back in the early days of http://www.thefacebook.com. Either way, I never went on a massive binge to reconnect with them.
Since older folks have gotten on FaceBook, some have been able to reconnect with folks they haven't seen in the better part of a century. Although I'm far too young for this to occur, it's kinda cool. You get to catch up. You get to never lose touch again.
But there is a danger in reconnecting. Back when FaceBook wasn't even everyone in college, I would occasionally check for college friends whom I knew weren't on my friends list. There was one girl in particular, we'll call her Reba. Several times, I looked for Reba, but she just wasn't there. Then, one day, I can't remember who found who, but Reba had an account. After the initial pleasantries, I found out she was preparing for finals during a semester I was not in school, so I would help her study. Did this reconnection lead to us getting closer? Yes. Did I help Reba get better grades? I'd like to think so. Did I wind up alone with Reba, lying on the couch together, in her apartment, a mere two weeks after the initial reconnection? Also yes.
Yeah, part of the downside to reconnecting (as well as never losing touch) with people is that you have to be intentional in order to leave the old self behind. I had had feelings for her before, and being in a vulnerable spot in my life didn't help the situation. Reconnecting with Reba may have been a bad idea (just maybe).
I did end up defriending her, just because it wasn't good for me to see her face, even in my news feed and completely separated from myself. Granted, not all reconnections are bad; you just have to be intentional about it. Know who you were then, who you are now, and, most importantly, who you aren't now.
What are some reconnections you've made? Which ones are you proud of? Which ones did you have to unreconnect?