Facebook and the Not So Hallowed Halls

Facebook is really making me wonder if I need to reevaluate my entire high school experience.

I did not like high school. I spent as little time there as possible, but it was still far too much. If I had to do it over again, I’d drop out the day I turned sixteen, take some college classes, read a lot, and get a GED.

But then, you see, I joined Facebook. And then I started getting friend requests from people I knew in high school. A few are people I was at least friendly with, but there are plenty of others I can scarcely remember, and some I remember actively disliking me.

Of course, Facebook is in part about gathering “friends,” and some people are heavily invested in getting their numbers up, and that may account for part of it. And I have observed that people you know who haven’t seen you in a long time invariably treat you as a long-lost friend, regardless of how little they liked you back when.

A few weeks ago I got a message from a long-lost high school acquaintance in which said acquaintance mentioned that he’d always had a crush on me. I did not date in high school. I did not even come close. I certainly didn’t think anyone came even close to harboring an affection for me. But apparently I was wrong — and knowing that has made me start to wonder how many other impressions I had that were incorrect. And that in turn leads me to wonder if I had a whole other possible high school existence, a sort of parallel track that I never found a way to hop on. It’s almost enough to make me wish I could go back and do it again — but not quite enough. I think I’d still hate gym class, lockers, bells, the smell of the cafeteria, and my AP English teacher.

4 thoughts on “Facebook and the Not So Hallowed Halls”

  1. My goodness! A new look! I like it.

    I find the whole concept of our perceptions of ourself – and how people perceive(d) us to be interesting.

    I firmly believe that as a teenager, particularly in American high schools, that perception is warped. I’ll give an example. I went to my ten year high school reunion a few years ago. I met someone who was a friend at the time – she was shocked to find out I was married. Shocked. I don’t know if she thought I was too much of a rebel? or too feminist to be married? Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t remember claiming (in high school) that I was never going to get married on principle. Perhaps I did. I found myself thinking that she didn’t really know me very well.

    But is that really fair to me (or to her)? So much goes into communication – and I’ve never been the most conscious or vocal communicator.

    My husband likes to say “the past is the past”. It is always amusing to wonder what could have been. But if I think about going back, I remember the reasons why I chose what I did – what decisions I made at the time and why.

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  2. Thanks — I may still fiddle with the theme some more, but I was getting deathly sick of the old one.

    I know other people who’ve gotten that kind of shocked reaction — “You did what?!? It’s an odd, odd world.

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  3. We were the same person in high school. I HATED it. I almost did drop out and get a GED – it was that bad.

    And at my tenth reunion, I was amazed that the people I perceived as torturing me for 4 years really had NO IDEA who I was. It was like I wasn’t even on their radar screen, and yet they defined MY high school misery. Huh.

    Oddly, only 10 people from a class of 688 are on Facebook.

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  4. See, this is the sort of thing that makes me wonder if secretly we didn’t all hate high school — but then of course I meet someone who goes on about their glory days as homecoming queen. The good news, of course, is that eventually high school ends. I hope it stays that way.

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