John Boudreau reports that “the Internet is reconnecting long-lost sweethearts,” while Scott Harris writes about Facebook as a time machine (gee, that sounds familiar).

Boudreau:

Not long ago, such rekindlings were largely relegated to once-a-decade school reunions, those awkward gatherings that tend to be more about sizing up past rivals than reconnecting with former sweethearts. But the Internet is now profoundly altering some people’s links to the past and sometimes upending their lives in unexpected ways. For some, the outcome is a blissful recoupling; for others, the reignited embers burn down the house….

[T]he Internet, and now social-networking sites such as MyLife.com. and Facebook, make relinking easier and more common. And people are doing it at a much younger age — instead of an uncomfortable phone call to her parents, all he has to do is do a Google search for her name.

Harris:

Many people tell of reuniting with cherished, long-lost friends, or reviving meaningful social circles that had frayed over the years. I’ve met a couple who were high school sweethearts but had been out of touch for 23 years. Now they credit Facebook for reconnecting them — and the romance is fully rekindled. …

It’s interesting how Facebook has connected a little social network of my high school friends — some close, some not so close. When I couldn’t find an address for a friend whose father had died, I contacted one of her classmates through Facebook. She had the e-mail address.

Why is that?

Unlike predecessors Friendster and MySpace, Facebook succeeded by creating a culture of authenticity — not a dodgy realm of alter egos, but a place where people feel comfortable showing off photos of their children to their friends.

I would say that it didn’t create that culture of authenticity: it set some initial conditions that allowed users to create it.

[To the tune of Django Reinhardt, “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing),” from the album The Best of DJango Reinhardt (I give it 1 stars).]