Find Friends Online And Make Your Old Friends Your New Friends…or NOT!

I’ve been on Facebook for a few years…..but it was hit or miss in the beginning, learning, and not knowing what I was doing…but I tried and now that I use it for work, family, & friends…’s everyday.  The best part about it has been re-connecting with all of my old (new) friends.  These are people I haven’t seen or heard from in 20+ years!  So, you can imagine the tears, joy, and the laughter after re-connecting.  What a treat!  However,  not all of the old friends, who are my new friends, want to engage as much as I do…but that has to be because they don’t know me as well as they used to, right?!  Which is the whole point of “friending me” isn’t it?!?!  Well, I’m not so sure anymore…lol! 

Wow, is all I have to say….as I am really amazed and never expected that this past year would be such a total and complete roller coaster ride…with all the thrills and chills…but at least I didn’t get dizzy or sick!  Just to give you an idea……

The most unexpected, was a college friend who found me a over a year ago, we chatted on FB and shared photos, and we got to meet in NY a few months ago…that was fabulous!  After catching up on FB overtime when we met it was like there had been no time lapse from when we last saw each other…way back when!  We just picked up where we left off…it was a great and weird feeling all in one….to think I haven’t seen/talked to her in forever, and now we’re back where we started!  AWESOME!  Catherine, you always knew how to have fun & make me (and everyone else) laugh, I am so glad we found each other!  Love ya woman:)

The most emotional, was my First Love and best friend, with all the baggage that goes with it…he was next.  I was happy and conflicted at the same time.  I remember getting the friend request…it wasn’t a pretty sight (who knew?!).  I was happy, don’t get me wrong….its just that I had tears, hesitation, and feelings I didn’t expect.  Yes, of course, I accepted!  And, I am glad I did.  It has been really great re-connecting, sharing and laughing…especially at the old pictures…the kind you look at, laugh, and say omg, what were we thinking, wearing, saying, doing?!  Tommy, I will ALWAYS love you!  I am happy to have you back in my life….and look forward to getting to know you again.  I wish you health, happiness, big waves, and a phone that works…lol:)

The funniest has to be one of my girl friends from when I was around 12 years old who recently found me.  Wow, we chatted on FB, texting, then talked on the phone a few times, laughing so hard we were CRYING…almost peeing in our pants til 1:00am!  Yup, it was that good:)  My brother always tells the story of how we (living across the street from one another) were inseparable and would constantly be on the phone even though we had just left each other 5 minutes prior…to find out what color shirt the other would be wearing that night.  He might be right, but who cares, as I said to her, it was part of being a teenager, and bonding, AND the great thing is we both remember it like it was yesterday = good memories!  Love ya BaBa, the reunion is going to be great…I will call you in 5 minutes…hehehe!  And remember, “she” will NEVER be one of us…rofl!

And then came the shocker…someone friended me and I about fell out of my chair….and I answered with a OMFG….because I was truly shocked!  Seriously.  That’s another whole story…but you get the picture.  We laughed about finding your old  friends who become your new friends….and it’s so true!  One of the things she said that resonated and prompted me to write this is, we all need our tribe!  Having had this conversation time and time again with many others I know it’s SO right!  And, it doesn’t matter if its a new tribe (my SNCC tribe), an old tribe (96th St), or a mixture of both!  We need each other….in good times and bad.  AND, let’s face it, there is some comfort in talking with people who grew up down the block, down the hall, know the milestones and landmarks, and the family, because they have known you since you were 12…..especially when you are no longer “at home”.  Jenn, you are so funny…yes, we missed & loved you and all wondered where the HELL you were!?!?  Glad you found us…and are growing your tribe!

For me, moving away from everyone and everything I know…took its toll.  Not easy, and when you have kids, it stinks even more!  But, somehow you suck it up and deal…not my mothers words, but the hidden meaning in them!  Luckily, I faired well, and have always had an easy time at making & keeping “friends” and have kept in touch with “my circle” as my friend Maridel Bowes calls it which has made life sweeter….but I still felt it….and still have my moments!

My hope for you is that you are finding friends online, making your old friends your new friends, and meeting even more to grow your circle and your tribe!  It can be quite an experience IF you are willing to engage and participate in your “friends” fb lives.  I can tell you first hand it has rocked my world…in a very good way!  I LOVE my tribe!!!

Enjoy the ride….and the journey….life is short!


Are you on Facebook?  How long?  What do you use it for?  Best/worst parts?  Have you found your “old” friends?  Do you plan to?  Making new friends?  Where/How?  What is stopping you?  Any suggestions for those new to FB?

About Rita Brennan Freay

The journey of a 1000 miles always ends with a dirty diaper. Headmaster of a self inflicted international preschool & visitor center compassionately changing kids lives, one diaper at a time.
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36 Responses to Find Friends Online And Make Your Old Friends Your New Friends…or NOT!

  1. Thanks for the stories, Rita. I use Facebook for networking and connecting with old friends, and making new friends. It’s caused some stress, though, because I have family as friends, and of course they want to see more intimate pictures of my life and daughter, but I’m a bit guarded there because I have friends that I haven’t meet. Since my FB page grew big pretty early on, I didn’t make the distinction and am now paying for it. I have fan pages, and will go through my FB personal page and remove people that I’ve never meet or know nothing about… but that project is on the back burner… because I’m just too busy… so maybe that’s a summer project. :)

  2. Hi Rita,

    Thanks for these wonderful stories, Rita. Like everyone else here, I’ve got my share of similar ones. I’ve been using FB since early 2008, first to connect with colleagues, then shortly afterward to connect with clients and personal friends. I remember being puzzled by people who explained that Facebook was suited for personal friends and LinkedIn was suited for business colleagues, and they ought to be kept separate.

    How different things are today! I’m inclined to connect with anyone, anywhere. For me, the two channels host different kinds of conversations, not different kinds of acquaintances.

    I agree, it’s a special thrill to re-connect with long-lost high school classmates. These are people you saw maybe 7 hours a day, at least 5 days a week, for up to 12 years, and sometimes more. What a kick, when you can pick up your conversations as though you’d been together just yesterday.


  3. Verria Kelly says:

    I’ve been contacted by a few friends from high school and college. It was fun connecting catching up and a few of the connections have lead to offline conversations. I feel as though my tribe has been enhanced by these interactions.

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      The offline conversations can be so great!!! I’ve really enjoyed catching up and the laughter that usally comes with it:)

  4. Always love your playful, lively voice of enthusiasm, Rita–whether you are talking about foster care or adolescent friends rediscovered! As you know, just last week I reunited with a woman that I grew up with back in Indiana–46 years ago! It wasn’t FB that brought us together but rather, word-of-mouth that the former “pastor’s daughter” had written a book. Yet I’ve connected on FB with others from my past , and stay connected there with friends and family from all eras of my life–including now, my old/new friend, Loui! The circle just keeps getting bigger!! (And thanks for the mention)

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Thanks Maridel:) I love that you met up with her again after all this time… wonderful!

      • Hellen says:

        yes and then a few months later she got her finerd to dump me for her. Then in year 9 she went to school for about a month and then she stopped coming and i lost contact with her. Then after i moved i started emailing her and she emailed back and said that she wanted me back with me and i said yes and she texted me but i had no credit so i couldn’t write back. Then the Holiday’s came and so she stopped emailing me. Then she got a facebook account early this year i added her and she was going out with someone else, she forgot about me but when i added her she still wanted me more than him. So i asked her why don’t you dump him if you love me more and she said that she can’t break-up with guys, eventually she told him and he forced her to break-up with me and she did. I know she still loves me i still call her every now and then and see how she going she created a list of reason’s why i’m her best finerd and she came up with 53 reason’s so far, she also created a list of reason’s why she hates her boyfriend and by the sounds of it he wants her to be a completely different person. She still says she loves him but i don’t know what to think, my finerd is good at manipulating peoples minds and got her to say that she loves me, but i think she forgot about it, my finerd is trying to help me and it’s almost working but i need some more help.I still love her more than anything and she was crying for about two days after the break-upI’m Hoping 3rd times the charm.Please help

      • Stely says:

        that he loves her.. but i think its just the rebound eecfft on him. so how do i turn this around? is it ever to late to start no contact?omg what do i do?! maybe i lost him completely already but i still want to try!

      • Ivi says:

        It’s a plrausee to find someone who can think so clearly

  5. This post both made me laugh and brought a tear to my eye! I have reconnected with old friends – though not my first love yet, keep looking for him every now and again lol , kept in touch with my friends all over the world and made so many new friends who have become ‘real friends’ – some I have met in person. I think you know that I LOVE Facebook most particularly and it’s because of all the joy it brings in staying connected with people all over the world. The only dowside is that we have reconnected with so many we are going to be swamped when we go back to UK lol.
    Louise Edington
    Fabulous and Fearless

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Reconnecting is amazing! Aww, I hope you find “him” too – that would be nice:) In hind sight swamped will be good (I hope)….but only after the fact! lol:) I love FB…for all the same reasons…and it makes it so easy for me to keep up with all my former au pairs…so great! Hope you have a wonderful trip..enjoy it all:) Your girls must be so excited!!!

  6. Yvonne Hall says:

    Because of Facebook I’ve made great new friends that I chat with online (like YOU) that just ‘get’ me and also have found high school friends that also moved cross country to this fabulous coast! It has been nice keeping up with their lives and providing encouragement and support when they need it. But since our HS reunion is this year and I can;t make the trip back to Georgia it is making me a bit sad. Reconnecting makes the reunion a bigger dream! But with the connections made the reunion itself isn’t as important because we’ll continue engaging online whether I make it to Georgia next month or not.
    Yvonne Hall

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Hehehe, and I am SO glad I have you!!! Who would I be talking to at midnight…that understands the insanity…lol! Oh, going back to Georgia would be fun…hope you can make it (not that I made any of mine!) but keeping in touch on FB will be great too! Thanks for being such a great find…I mean friend:)

  7. Wow – so glad I am in your tribe of SNCC’ers! I started to seriously use Facebook only about eight months ago. Now that I know how to do it correctly, I have reconnected with so many people – some I wanted to and some I really didn’t want to :( Nice thing about Facebook is we can control who we engage with and share our lives with. That is priceless for me. It also has been great in terms of finding people with like interests as far as special needs children – something near and dear to me, as you know. My own virtual support system! Nice story and so glad I can call you my friend :)

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Honored to call you my friend woman! And, so grateful to have you in my tribe…and your right, being able to control who we engage and share with is nice…finding our new virtual support systems, priceless! Knowing we’re no longer in “this” alone…yay! I love having my west coast tribe awake and functioning while I’m up at midnight!! Love you guys:) A big shout out and THANK you to Ann Evanston…for making me see the light!!!

  8. What fun Rita…I have reconnected with a few old friends on FB…but haven’t moved to the calls or offline connections – yet. Totally agree you need your tribe! I’m very connected to my friends and clients online and totally rely on FB as a major connector and tool in my business…which is my joy :-)

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Love my tribe!!! We all need our tribes:) Glad your finding FB a useful tool for biz and personal life….enJOY!

  9. Pat Zahn says:

    Hey Rita – FB is a blast! I don’t have quite the earth-shattering experience with old friends that you have, but it is nice to see how people have fared and how supportive some who you hardly knew in HS are today. I’m really treasuring getting to know new people who I wouldn’t have met w/o social media – it’s a pleasant surprise. For newbies, I’d just say be yourself and reach out!

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Not so earth shattering…but all good anyway…I have to say:) It has been a blast – from the past! And meeting all my new SoMe friends has been wonderful too….reaching out has been the hardest part for me! Getting there.

  10. What a joy to read this and read your experience with Facebook. I am on Facebook. I use it mainly for biz but definitely online networking and socializing and making new friends. Usually when I get a friend request and I have no idea who they are I go to their wall and say hello and thank them for their connection…then I ask how they find me? Usually a conversation starts from there and somehow they are connected with someone I do know. It’s quite fun! I’ve really found a love for the internet…Facebook, Twitter, etc :)


    Alara K. Castell
    Your Sassy Spiritual Guide

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Oh yeah, Alara, this has changed the way I see the internet….twitter is a whole different animal…I mean experience!!! lol:)

  11. Julie Labes says:

    Rita i can absolutely identify. i have found old friends old flames and even old enemies. It has been an amazing experience using Facebook to reconnect. I am now trying to get David to get a profile so he can do the same. It really is quite a phenomenon. Thanks for the great story.

    Julie Labes,…The Fierce over 50 feels much younger point and click junkie loves to travel does not use a jogging stroller and before you ask this is NOT my granddaughter..Woman

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      HAHAHA Julie…I love your meeting old friends, old flames, and old enemies! Have to admint, I’ve come across a few enemies myself…lol! Not that I still hold a grudge…, never…..HA!

    • Maximiliano says:

      well in this case you really have to fiurge out whats more important to you, either your friendship with him or getting back together with him. If you really care about him and don’t want to lose him for anything then i would suggest staying friends. But, if you don’t feel like you can just be friends with him and you feel like seeing him with other people will really affect you, then maybe you should tell him how you feel. But if you’re worried about losing him then try your best to just stay friends for now, and later on, you can see what happens

  12. Facebook started out as a business networking platform for me. All of my referral partners, service providers, and friends with whom I did business were talking about how fun and easy it was. Little did I know the resulting class reunions that would follow! From planning get togethers with good friends who’d drifted away to making closer connections to some who’d only been mild acquaintances, it has been a very happy experience.

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      That’s great….glad you are having the happy face experience too:) Looks like not everybody is having as much luck! Thanks for sharing Dorothy.

  13. Well, what a wonderful blog about FB and all it can give us. I’ve had some different results. I originally got on facebook to communicate and keep up to date with the grandkids. My former business associates weren’t on it or any high school friends or even some current friends yet. Then I began to enjoy the interchange and I began to get more friends. Then I saw the business potential but didn’t use it wisely. But I used it more to get fed on the spirituality part of my life and many of my friends in the energy healing area are on it. And I could keep up with the art scene and everything going on. Now it’s taking on another dimension. And a couple of high school friends are now on it. And some old friends but many of my old friends are afraid of it! Well, I was always a renegade. Not going to change now!

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Thanks Julieanne, I think a lot of people are afraid of! It sure does have lots of dimensions…all good, if used wisely as you said:) Sounds like you are off to a great start….nice to meet you and look forward to connecting! Always love a renegade!!!! Enjoy your fb journey:)

  14. Molly Perry says:

    I originally joined Facebook to connect with some of my former students and volleyball players from my teaching days. And, I was successful. However, it has expanded far beyond that. I am able to keep connected with others, with whom I normally would not have been able to do. Now, I am using Facebook for my tutoring business. My husband, who does not “do” Facebook, doesn’t quite get it. However, he does like to look at my page from time to time…maybe he’ll take the leap someday and reap the rewards!

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      How great…to be able to connect with them all..and keep in touch…love that!!! Hehehe, my husband is sort of anti facebook too…..its his training…I think! And he doesn’t understand it, doesn’t want to be on it, and thinks its a waste of time….sucking people into oblivion…turning your brain to mush! I have no doubt he will get on the fb bandwagon someday…cause his parents just friended me…LOL! I have not accepted yet…should be interesting!

  15. Donna McCord says:

    Rita, it sounds as though Facebook has been an amazing and rewarding tool for you to build and sustain relationships! I have not had that same experience of finding old friends on Facebook, but have not tried to either; Facebook was something I only started to engage in because of our business, but now I am learning there is so much more to it — I was just recently Friended by my daughter, and am so happy to have that way of staying connected with her! You have inspired me to try to reach out to others from my past that may be on Facebook, too. I’ll let you know how that goes!
    Hoping you continue to have amazing experiences on Facebook and every where you go!

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Funny Donna, glad you two are now “friends:…that is a big deal I hear! So kuddos to you!!! Yes, fb has been great overall…however, I must admit, the trip down memory lane has not been without its moments, hurt feelings, and a few tears along the way! All good, helpful, and needed I guess….I am enjoying it…..and rebuilding my tribe…of which you are a part! Thanks for all your support…it means so much:)

  16. Rita, Yes, I too have had similar experiences on FB. Just yesterday a girl who I have completely lost touch with found me on facebook. We spent a year together in France in college, although she lives many states away from me now, her sister lives in the same suburb of Denver that I do now. I hope to get together with my old friend in person soon.
    I do try to engage with my “tribe” on FB as much as possible. It’s been a great way to stay in touch with faraway relatives too.
    No long lost loves have been found as of now in my FB world.

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Hi Meredith, nice to meet you! Very cool…its a small world…and with her sister living nearby means you will get to see her…soon I hope! That will be fabulous:) Engaging is good…takes time to get in the swing of it all…but well worth it! You never know who will pop up next….enjoy your journey:)

  17. Rita, I have had so many similar experiences on FB as the ones you describe–was stunned when high school friends (that’s 40 years ago!) found me and created a page for our class. It was so thrilling to me to reconnect and realize that people who had been frozen in my memory were adults now, living real lives. (But how did we all get to looking so…mature?) I also found a long-ago friend from camp, and although the “first love” didn’t reappear, another former, and dear, boyfriend did. Like you, I also have new communities of wonderful people known only through FB. I count you among those people, Rita!

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    “My cat owns me, my clutter stymies me, my writing frees me. Word maven loves—and learns from—ordinary life.”

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Aww, thanks Judy:) I feel the same about you! How cool, a class page…that is awesome!!! It has to be interesting;) I guess stunned is a better way to describe how I was feeling too…all good:) Love when you said frozen in memory….exactly it for me!!! I am really enjoying my new old friends..and my new, new friends…my tribe is growing! Thanks for sharing and stopping by.

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