Same people, new community
At reunion events some people are eager to show off their new faces, personalities or cars while others may appear to have not changed at all.
“People coming to reunion events are divided into three categories,” said Amalia E. Maulana, ethnographer and brand consultant.
First are those who come “to explain their new identities, to seek acknowledgement and to acquire a place for their new selves,” she said.
There are also people who see reunion events as potential business opportunities.
Then there are those who simply seek unconditional friendships.
“Friendship in high school is much more emotional and pure, something that people hardly develop in their adult years, particularly in the world of work,” said Amalia.
“These people fulfill their longing of friendship by getting back to the past friendships,” she added.
Reunions also include those who seek to find their old loves.
“These people might not deliberately look for their ex-partners but that intention can come later. There are also people who hate reunions because of this — they don’t want to confront their old loves,” she said.
Some others might also avoid reunions because of a lack of success stories that can be shared with other attendees.
“Some people feel that they have not yet achieved enough in life, so they feel intimidated every time a reunion invitation comes.”
Regardless of each individual’s motivation, Amalia pointed out the importance of managing these re-formed communities, if people want to benefit more from them.
“Establishing an association can be an option if they want to manage the community more professionally,” she said.
What is also noteworthy is that these communities should build a new era of friendship and keep it as long as they can.
“Communications should be maintained, both online and offline, using any measures compatible, such as Facebook, BlackBerry messenger groups and the like. People must also meet face-to-face if they don’t want to lose the ‘fire’.”
“Friendship is like cellular phone credit. It should be refilled every once in a while,” Amalia warned. (swd)