In this posting on the NY Time's "Bits," Jenna Wortham explains how facebook helped her make the decision not to attend her college reunion. Why would she? She has connected with all of the people that she wanted to know about, and she doesn't need to pay to go and meet them. Fair enough.
The article goes on to detail how some think facebook could strengthen these bonds and improve attendence because it can make us feel closer to our fellow alumni. I buy Jenna's explanation a bit more. This touches on a significant change that has and still is occurring - the disappearing face-to-face.
My parents used to tell me that video games were no replacement for playing outside, and I think this is the social equivalent of that notion. Facebook may be good to see baby pics and have occaisional chats with these folks, but it is no replacement for seeing how large and in charge the prom queen became, or how that cool athlete wore a purple velvet sport coat to the event (God Kelsey Engel - it made me so happy to see you look so awful) or talking with someone you thought was so smart, only to realize they are...um...not.
No, it is indeed a sad disengagement if facebook puts an end to college and high school reunions. One should really attend these, if only for the triumphant entrance to a party where, in one evening of cocktails, one manages to exorcise the demons of childhood. Of course I don't know Jenna - maybe she has "other" reasons for not going.