Facebook Changing the Face of Reunions

6 years 8 months 1 week ago Wednesday, May 16 2012 May 16, 2012 Wednesday, May 16, 2012 4:50:00 PM CDT May 16, 2012 in News
By: Megan Noe
loading

COLUMBIA - Has Facebook made high school reunions obsolete?

Charley Blackmore, a 1963 Hickman graduate, insists, "They're not dying out."

Blackmore has spent the past 14 years creating Kewpie.net, a site he calls "the Kewpie gathering place, where Kewpies can come together to visit or find out about what's going on."

As a DJ, unofficial historian, and all-around reunion resource, Blackmore has helped with dozens, if not hundreds of high school reunions, more than he can even count.

Just months ago, the New York Times reported attendance and the number of reunions held had dropped in recent years, a trend that doesn't appear to hold true in mid-Missouri. Blackmore insists Facebook and the Internet have helped, not hindered, the annual gatherings.

"The hardest part of putting a reunion together is locating the people that are in your class," said Blackmore. Now, he's using the Internet to do just that-and with great success.

"The attendance was only affected by 5 percent or less that didn't have email, that I actually sent letters to," said Blackmore of his last reunion.

And he insists knowing what people are up to via Facebook doesn't dull the mystery and excitement of a high school reunion.

"I don't think it has anything to do with people not coming to a reunion. I think it encourages or induces people more so to come to see each other, cause you want to say, ‘No, that person doesn't really look like that. They're 67 years old, they can't look like that. I want to see that person.'"

After all, there are some things that just aren't the same online.

"It adds a different flair to the reunion when you might be telling that person goodbye for the last time," said Blackmore.

It's a sentiment echoed by the Hickman class of 1943. Its members went to high school long before the Facebook generation, and every month anywhere from eight to twenty of them still gather at the Columbia Senior Center for an old-fashioned reunion.

O.V. Wheeler and his wife rarely miss the gatherings. Sporting a class ring and a Kewpies button, Wheeler insists the Internet is no substitute for face-to-face meetings.

"One of our classmates from down in southeast Missouri was up, and one of the guys came in, threw his arm around her, and said, ‘Oh it's so good to see ya.'

And she said, ‘Just remember, it's better to be seen than to be viewed.'"

Wheeler then laughed, "We'd been to three funerals that week so we'd done a lot of viewing."

For the class of 1992, though, Facebook has completely changed the way the reunion committee works for the better.

"At one point ten years ago, four of us from Rock Bridge... sat around my dining room table with phone books and just called people's parents trying to find out where they were," said Suzette Waters.

This time around, the group estimates they've found more than 300 classmates on Facebook. They've created an event on the site, they have a reunion group, a page for each class, an e-marketing campaign, and continue to message classmates who haven't registered yet.

Waters said she hasn't heard of anyone who's disinclined to attend because they've kept up with friends via social media.

"There's a total disconnect between being able to know what someone's doing from a text message or a picture and then being able to talk with them."

It's a belief that seems to ring true regardless of generation.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council passed a four percent increase in revenue from water fees. There were four... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 10:27:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Tuesday Boone Hospital trustees announced two future management options. The trustees announced the options are either a... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 7:14:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An initiative is up for approval Tuesday night at city council that could save a life. "Share... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 7:02:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - For families displaced after an apartment complex fire, a warm meal puts the comfort in comfort food.... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 4:34:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - A woman displaced by a massive fire in Holts Summit Monday said it was "horrific and real."... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 4:16:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – A recently-published pilot study by an MU law professor calls attention to landlords’ sexual harassment of their low-income... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 4:09:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A recent report says Missouri ranks 49th in average starting teacher salary. The Missouri Department of Elementary... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 3:22:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
CLIFTON HILL - The Westran School District released its students from class early Tuesday due to a water main break... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 2:57:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A former Jefferson City Public Schools employee filed a lawsuit accusing the district of discrimination. Denise... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 2:51:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - House Democrats want more funding for K-12 transportation and the Columbia School Board agrees. “Desperately underfunded,"... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 2:45:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital has been awarded the Veterans Health Administration's award for "Best Place... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 2:39:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The largest rural transit provider in the state is reducing services because of the government shutdown. “What... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 2:31:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters said unattended cooking caused the fire at an apartment complex in central Columbia on Sunday. The... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 10:25:00 AM CST January 22, 2019 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - Moniteau County deputies are looking for a man from the city of California after they said he... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 10:13:00 AM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - One person was detained in connection to a threat made at the Midway Travel Plaza on Highway 40,... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 11:58:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
SUNRISE BEACH - One person died at a high rise at the Lake of the Ozarks Monday morning according to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 11:27:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With just over two months left before the April 2 Municipal Election, mayoral candidate Chris Kelly is calling... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 5:30:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With over 500 districts across the country switching to four day school weeks, there has been an increase... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 5:29:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
1am 28°
2am 27°
3am 26°
4am 25°