Both E and I have had the experience recently of connecting through Facebook with friends we have not seen (and often not thought of) for 30-40 years. For each of us, this re-discovery has begun by one friend finding us (probably through the Facebook Search function), seeking us out, and then exposing us through his/her list of friends to others who begin to recognize our names and subsequently to 'ping' us for friendship connection.
The experience has been almost over-whelming at times in terms of memories and emotions. Each of us was, to say the least, a bit dorky and 'band-kid-like' in high school. E was very active (e.g., editor two years of the school newspaper; a straight-A student; 1st-chair clarinet; member of the Latin, Teachers of America, and Thespians Clubs); but none of those was in any way "cool" at the time. I was the shy type overall and also active in the band (last-chair trombone) and the school newspaper (feature editor) but not a lot else. So, while we both had plenty of friends, some of the people who are now so eager to link with us as Facebook 'friends' were not really that eager to be seen in the public, high school hallways with us back in the days of yore. I now have more high school “Facebook friends” then friends I had back in high school. Just processing that fact is taking us each a while.
Having said that, we are each feeling very excited about these renewed contacts. For E, most of them are from people two-to-three thousand miles away from us, i.e., mid-America ... Bush/Cheney, anti-Obama country). And, with each contact made, there is a 'coming out' that has to occur. What we are finding is, even with friends connected with VERY conservative religions and positions (e.g., working in a Baptist college in the South), there is a willingness and complete sense of genuineness in wanting to know about us and our gay, married lives and a (via Internet, at least) real caring about who we really are and have become.
This really is overall shocking and has led to both of us having bizarre dreams. Memories of good and bad instances of the past are mixed with present day settings in these dreams. High school buddies and acquaintances are becoming present again in the Land of Slumber. It is all very bizarre ... and exciting.
And then there are the 'shocking' discoveries of past friends (or sometimes their younger siblings, who are also now connecting to us) who are GAY. Who knew? If we had only known then.... What might have led to what? And what admiration we have for one guy who just linked with E today who is living in a small Tennessee town and has on his FB page "married" and "Interested only in men." Wow! Here in California, that is pretty easy to do, but in ****, Tennessee?? Amazing.
We are mid-stream on this story. Every day, it seems, we are each getting new friend requests (and are now starting to peruse the friends of our new contacts to find old acquaintances we can now 'request to friend.' It is mind-blowing how so many of us really look the same, 40 years later. It is also becoming sad that as the pot is stirred and other friends' names come to mind, we find they are not yet on FB; and we cannot thus connect to them.
Like probably many others (in fact, hundreds of millions of others), we are finding Facebook is changing out lives. The iPhone did so. YouTube did so. Google did so. The Internet did so. Can you imagine where we would be without any and all of these?