Do you ever just snuggle up to Facebook, tickle it a little and see if it spits out the whereabouts of former friends and old lovers? Okay, so maybe it's just me. Every once in a while, I feel the need to skulk around the interwebs, looking for people I used to know. I blame yesterday's excursion on Facebook itself. I loaded my FB page only to see the face of an old boyfriend glaring at me from the sidebar under 'People you might know'. Yeah, I knew him. I was trying to repress that whole experience. TYVM :shudder:
Anyway, seeing him sitting there in my sidebar made me wonder who else is out there, perhaps skulking around the interwebs looking for me. In minutes, I found five old boyfriends on FB (two of which I promptly blocked), and almost the entirety of my college gang. Not bad. The gal who used to be my best friend is still married to the guy she married the summer between my third and fourth years of college. (I was maid of honor.) One of my exs is now working at the same place with the guy who was his best friend back in 1990. And that guy I could never remember the real name of - cuz we mainly called him by his nickname back then? Well, mystery solved.
In my FB search, though, one person was curiously absent. Of all my non-computer-junkie friends and exs from way back when, he was the one I was sure would have a page. So I went to Google (the perfect place for stalking people without them knowing you're stalking them) and typed in his name. Within seconds, it was perfectly apparent why he wasn't on Facebook. He died in April of 2007 at the age of 55. Massive heart attack. Too bad because he was a nice guy - just not the right guy for me. He was the first - that I know of - old boyfriend who'd passed on. (Although that guy I was engaged to in 1989 had such a toxic personality I'd be surprised to learn he was still alive. Liver failure or a drug overdose should've claimed him years ago.)
It's an interesting thing to go back in time this way. It can also be a depressing thing. To find that all the people who were my friends are still friends with each other... Well, yeah. That stung a bit. Most of them went on to graduate while I quit school, got knocked up, and then got brain damage. Over the years, I tried to reach out to them. One short phone call here or there. An interesting but truncated email exchange. And that was it.
My friend, Kathy, was the last one I talked to and that was ten years ago. She's happily married (thankfully not to either of the dudes she dated when I knew her) and her little boy who survived cancer while we all sat around the hospital with her waiting for news is a healthy adult now. Life is good for her. Life is good for me. Our good lives just no longer intersect.
It's an interesting thing to go back, but it also makes me realize something. I can never go back. Flipping through the interwebs this way is like reading a set of short stories I can no longer relate to. Too bad something in me keeps wanting to try.
What about you? Have you ever tried to find former friends and old lovers using the interwebs? How'd that work out for you? I've heard success stories - is yours one of them?