School Reunions? Nah, I've Got Facebook Facebook lets you check up on old classmates without having to run into them at real-life reunions. Now companies that organize class reunions are seeing a drop in attendance.
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School Reunions? Nah, I've Got Facebook

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School Reunions? Nah, I've Got Facebook

School Reunions? Nah, I've Got Facebook

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Facebook was created for college students to get in touch with one another. It has also helped people stay in touch online so well that it might be hurting attendance at real-world class reunions. Alex Schmidt reports.

ALEX SCHMIDT: You know the excruciatingly awkward reunion scene in movies - the dorks and princesses get together to prove that either they've become cool or they're still cool.

(Soundbite of movie, "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion ")

Ms. JULIA CAMPBELL (Actress): (as Christy Masters): So, how about you? Any kids?

SCHMIDT: Like the 1997 film "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion."

(Soundbite of movie, "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion ")

Ms. MIRA SORVINO (Actress): (as Romy White) Oh, no, I just haven't had time, you know, what with running my own business and all.

Ms. CAMPBELL: (as Christy Masters) Your own business?

Ms. SORVINO: (as Romy White) Yeah, I invented Post-Its.

SCHMIDT: These days you don't have to bother lying about how brilliant you are. Thanks to social networks, everyone already knows.

Marc Gervase graduated from Strathaven High School in Philadelphia in 2001. He has no plans to go to his 10-year.

Mr. MARC GERVASE: I don't need a reunion.

SCHMIDT: Why not?

Mr. GERVASE: 'Cause I already know what everyone's doing. And if I needed to find out, I could just contact them or stalk them through said stalking methods - the unsaid Facebook and Twitter updates.

SCHMIDT: It seems he's not the only one.

Ms. JOANNA ERDOS (Vice President, Alumni Association, John Marshall High School): Ten years ago you would've gotten maybe 250 people at a 10-year reunion.

SCHMIDT: Joanna Erdos is vice president of the Alumni Association of LA's John Marshall High School.

Ms. ERDOS: I recently attended a 10-year where there were 94 people. Then there was another one that I didn't get to go to but I heard the attendance was 43.

SCHMIDT: Attendance at 10-year reunions is declining across the country, says Great Reunions, one of the nation's largest reunion planning companies. Mike Silva is CEO. He knows more people are staying in touch, so he's changing his marketing pitch from "find out what became of Sally" to "unplug for a night."

Mr. MIKE SILVA (CEO, Great Reunions): There are a lot of people who believe Facebook's good enough so they don't want to get together. What we try to educate them about, I guess you'd call it real personal connections.

SCHMIDT: Actually, Silva points out, Facebook could end up helping with those real personal connections. If you get past the "what are you doing" question online, you can get on to the more important business of telling people what you really think.

(Soundbite of movie, "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion ")

Ms. JANEANE GAROFALO (Actress): (as Heather Mooney) I really thought you guys had it made in high school and the whole time you were making my life hell, the A group was making your life hell. I didn't know.

Ms. SORVINO: (as Romy White) You know what? I bet in high school, everybody made somebody's life hell.

SCHMIDT: Reunion planners claim there's no substitute for that face to face, grown-up connection. Technology comes and goes, they point out, but reality stays.

For NPR News, I'm Alex Schmidt.

(Soundbite of song, "Our Lips are Sealed")

THE GO-GOS: (Singing) Can you hear them, they talk about us, telling lies, well that's no surprise. Can you see them, see right through them.

HANSEN: You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

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