Social media has changed reunions. In previous generations, people hadn’t seen or heard about classmates for years. We have. At my 20th reunion, rather than playing dumb when classmates told me things I already knew, I said, "Oh, yeah. We’re friends on Facebook." It’s less awkward that way. But be prepared for surprises. Facebook and Instagram lull us into thinking we know everything about people, but no one puts everything online. Some classmates hadn’t changed their photo in (probably) years, so I had to hide my shock at what they looked like in person. Some had gotten divorced, which they hadn’t announced on social media. Also, before your reunion, classmates may post old photos where you don’t look your best. I hate that! If someone posts old pictures that you don’t think are representative of your life, it’s OK to untag yourself so the photo doesn’t wind up in your feed. I say the same goes for the reunion photos, too.
Sarah Smiley is a newspaper columnist and the author of four memoirs, including Got Here as Soon as I Could. She lives in Bangor, Maine, and has attended her 20th reunion.