Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 27, 2012/ 7 Tamuz, 5772

Is Facebook cutting demand for high school reunions?

By Anita Creamer





JewishWorldReview.com |

S ACRAMENTO— (MCT) For the 50th reunion of the Sacramento High School Class of 1962, organizer Tricia Brown had big plans: cocktail hour followed by a buffet in a Woodlake Hotel Sacramento ballroom decorated in purple and white, the school colors — a glittery and festive occasion.

"I see the reunion as a walk down memory lane," said Brown, 67, a retired elementary teacher who lives in east Sacramento. "It's fun to see people who knew you then."

She has a Facebook account, which she uses mainly to keep up with relatives out of state — but she can't imagine why anyone would prefer seeing classmates online instead of in person at a reunion. Frankly, the idea bewilders her.

"You wouldn't go to the reunion because of that?" she said.



RECEIVE LIBERTY LOVING COLUMNISTS IN YOUR INBOX … FOR FREE!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


That's exactly the fear of people planning high school reunions: In an age of soaring social media use, when people can reconnect with long-lost and perhaps faraway classmates through Facebook and other sites, has the time-honored tradition of the reunion seen better days?

Experts say that attendance at the 10-year high school reunion has dropped in recent years. In general, a good reunion attendance is 25 percent of the graduating class, said National Association of Reunion Managers President Cyndi Clamp. Now, in her own St. Louis-based business, Varsity Reunions, the average number of attendees has dropped below 20 percent.

Even for people in the reunion business, it's hard to figure out why this is happening, and whether Facebook or the economy is to blame. Yet reunion planners say young alumni simply don't seem to feel the urgency of catching up in person when they've already caught up plenty online.

There is no question that Facebook's influence continues to grow. The site reaches 72 percent of all Americans on the Internet, according to the blog Digitalbuzz. At the end of March, it had 526 million active daily users around the globe, double the number two years earlier.

While almost half of the people on Facebook are in the 18-to-34 age group, 30 percent are 35 and older. They include people who use the site as a way to keep up with their kids and grandkids, as well as people who sign on to reconnect with high school and college classmates from decades earlier.

In some ways, Facebook has created more buzz about reunions. Alumni form online groups for the purpose of planning and communicating ahead of time, and also keep in touch afterward. Whether this planning actually causes more people to show up is an open question.

"If you don't have a real community of people who feel connected anyhow, the best social media won't channel them to the reunion," said Andrew Shaindlin, assistant vice president for alumni relations at Carnegie Mellon University and author of the AlumniFutures blog.

Shari Sigl, 43, said she's seen evidence of the Facebook effect among her classmates. Sigl is helping organize the Foothill High School Class of 1987 reunion in August.

"Because of Facebook, I see people interested in the reunion now who haven't been before," Sigl said.

"I'm not sure that makes them want to come to the reunion," she added. "People are already in touch. Why pay money for it?"

That's the crux of the issue, not to mention the source of debate among event planners.

Some, like Clamp, think that introverts, party poopers and people with unhappy memories of high school are using Facebook as an excuse to avoid attending their reunions.

"My perception is, most of these people were never going to attend the reunion anyway," she said. "They just say it's because of Facebook."

On the other hand, Christian Brothers alumni relations director Nancy Smith-Fagan said: "I find that social media is really good at raising awareness, but it doesn't necessarily move people to act.

"There has to be a combination of things to get people to the next step."

For alumni who have moved across the country, high airfare and hotel costs — not to mention the need to burn up vacation time on people they haven't seen for decades — may tip the equation in favor of Facebook-only interactions. People have already rekindled friendships with high school friends through social media, so why invest in attending the reunion?

"I know a couple of people out of town who feel (that) way," said Don Nahhas, 48, one of the planners of the upcoming Hiram Johnson High School Class of 1982 reunion. "But we do have people who want to meet face to face, too."

For now, the Sacramento High School Class of 1962 remains on the other side of the digital and social media divide between the generations.

Planning committee member Brian Fletcher, 67, who is retired from the biotech industry, set up the class's online presence on a boilerplate reunion site, which proved confusing for some of his classmates.

"Some people have had trouble navigating the pages," he said. "They see things and don't know they're links they can click. They email or call for help."

Out of 625 surviving class members, at least 160 were expected for last Saturday's reunion. It's not a bad turnout by industry standards — and maybe it's a testament to the importance of face-to-face interactions.

"I want everybody to come and be happy," said Tricia Brown. "Some people really think it's a privilege to go to your 50th reunion and talk about your memories."


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment by clicking here.


© 2012, The Sacramento Bee. Distributed by MCT Information Services