Has Social Media Killed The Concept of Interpersonal Relationships?

This past weekend I attended my 20-year high school reunion but then, out of a graduating class of about 360+ only approximately 100 attended.  I was not sure what happened between the 10-year and 20-year reunions and then it hit me!  Yes… of course, how could I not see it, after all, I am on it non-stop and check it hourly–FACEBOOK!

If the introduction of MTV and music videos killed the radio star, then, certainly social media such as facebook has definitely killed the traditional “Romy & Michele” concept of a high school or college reunion.  Sure, 10 years ago (in 2001) there were limited means of finding classmates (ie. only word of mouth) but now, some 10 years later, post-friendster, myspace, and now the era of facebook and google+, you sure can find everyone much easier.  Just create a page and voila!  People will find you.  But, while it is easier to find everyone, because you can see daily, often hourly and minute-by-minute updates of the people you are facebook “friends” with, why bother travelling long distances, or spending $50+ for a reunion ticket? Why fly out to see them when you can see and chat with them live from your living room? These are all questions people are asking themselves as they decide whether or not to attend a high school or college reunion.

What was surprising to me about this reunion that I attended in New Orleans was that even locals did not come out but cost might have had something to do with that.  In any case, it is an interesting phenomena to see – that while facebook helps us reach so many, it is also the same thing that puts a damper on things like personal meetings, high school reunions, or just getting to talk or chat with someone in person.  Facebook substitutes for building interpersonal relationships because it’s easier to interact on-line but yet for some, face-to-face is no longer desired.  So, video may have killed the radio star but has facebook and social media as a whole destroyed chances for face-to-face, interpersonal relationships that we used to once cherish and could not do without?  Well, I truly hope not but sadly, the trend at events, reunions, and the like is proving that perhaps Social Media and the electronic age has killed what used to be … hand-written letters, phone calls, and meeting each other in-person seems to be a thing reserved for the past.

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