After coming across this article from the New York Times, I started thinking about how social media affects high school reunion attendance rates. I have had conversations with friends about this topic before, and I was not surprised by the statistics in the article.

According to the article, a woman who owns a reunion planning company claimed she plans 220 reunions annually, down from 350 a few years ago.

I predict these numbers will only go down from here.

So why is there such a decrease in attendance at reunions? One reason is that the allure of the unknown about classmates is often gone, thanks to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. The usual catch-up phrases like “Are you married now?” and “Where do you work?” are not as common anymore…if you are already Facebook friends.

Most people admit they follow their Facebook friends’ updates, such as a new promotion or a marriage proposal. Social media has taken the fun out of catching up at high school reunions, and many agree.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of my high school graduation; my class did not plan a formal celebration. Other high schools, on the other hand, planned 5-year reunions around Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Although social media outlets take much of the mystery and excitement out of reunions, many people claim that seeing those people in person makes a strong impact that Facebook just cannot provide.

I agree that Facebook has taken away some value from reunions, but at the same time, I appreciate social media for allowing me to keep up and stay in touch with people I grew up with.