If you’d asked Bekki Scotto a few years back about her interest in attending a high school reunion, she would have rolled her eyes and laughed in your face.
Uprooted from Northern California as a 12-year-old after her parents divorced, she landed in Bismarck, North Dakota, where she was a stranger in a strange land.
“I was a weirdo, and I always was until I left,” said Scotto, 40, who loaded up her Volkswagen bus right after graduation and high-tailed it back to the West coast. “I hated high school. My memories are mostly of tortured poetry and plans for escape.”
But a funny thing happened in recent years: She discovered Facebook. And the social networking tool stirred up an interest in old classmates that she didn’t know was there.
Scotto, a textile artist in Eureka, California, signed up for the social networking site not knowing that “it was HS reunion central … or I might not have joined,” she wrote in an e-mail. And suddenly she was reconnecting with people from Bismarck’s Mandan High School and revisiting stories she’d long forgotten.
“Surprisingly enough I DID have friends. We did do fun things, and I actually have a few fond memories,” she said in the e-mail. “That was a revelation that never would have happened without Facebook… I know a bit about everyone and am remembering friends I’d actually like to see.”
Facebook may bring people like Scotto (who missed her 20th, which came before she’d signed up for the site) to reunions that never would have come otherwise.
But the site might also have an adverse effect on the face of school reunions. If you can learn what’s become of your old pals or your secret crush from the comfort of your couch, do you lose the incentive to actually go? Once you discover your prom date is now a married, balding insurance executive in Poughkeepsie, is the curiosity factor gone?