The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Saturday, June 02, 2007

iFace, YouButt, Whatever

In the past two weeks four people have invited me to join Facebook. I like to think of myself as pretty tech-savvy (I rock at 8-bit Nintendo and I have like, a Flickr account), but I have no idea what a Facebook is. So I started asking around. As far as I can surmise, Facebook is a place to:
  • Make new friends
  • Reunite with old friends
  • Find others who have similar tastes
  • Another site where you need to create a profile and devote all your time to in order to accomplish any of the above, when really you should be outside rolling in the grass with your kid.
Over the course of my detailed research (asking two friends over rounds of beer) one reoccurring theme kept coming up - it's a great way to track down high school classmates you've lost touch with. For me, that's reason enough to NOT join Facebook.

I can count on less than one hand the people I'd like to reconnect with from high school. High school, the place where hormones and hierarchy meet head on. Where the "popular" kids ruled, and everyone else just tried to fit in. High school was not a fun time in my life, so why would I want to relive it?

I wasn't on the bottom of the picking pecking order, there were several kids below me that got picked on worse, but I was far enough down the ladder to pretty much guarantee a constant barrage of abuse.

It goes without saying, I was not one of the popular kids.

Despite it all I did go to my 10-year high-school reunion when it rolled around. Morbid curiousity or maybe I actually gave a shit back then, either way when combined with the promise of an open bar it was too much to pass up.

The reunion confirmed a couple things for me, valuable life lessons that I hope somehow to pass onto The Boy:

The meek really will inherit the earth.
The thing that struck me the moment I walked into my reunion was that the less popular kids, the ones that tried but weren't able to break into the popular clique, turned out to be the most interesting and successful ones in the class.

Being popular in high school guarantees you nothing.
If you peak in high school, there's no where else to go but down. Regardless of how anyone treated me in school, I really did try to look past my teenage years and see the person standing in front of me, and most of the time it was unremarkable. There were a few stand outs from the popular crowd that went on to do great things, and in the process became really nice people, but most of that group seemed stuck in time.

So son, two valuable lessons. The bottom line is, don't try too hard to be one of the popular kids when school finally rolls around. While it will make your K-12 days bearable, it's not worth the effort when you look back on it.

Oh one final lesson for you. When in a room full of people you don't really like, keep drinking and eventually they'll become tolerable.