Collect ’em All!
A friend texts me snippets of life on that alien planet Facebook. I myself rarely log in and when I do I hide in a manner that violates its Terms of Service. I do this because I am too busy, too focused on physical space, and too conflicted about the toxic enthrallment of its plastic stream of narcibitionism to freely express my every thought, purchase, and cute thing my dog does. (Yes, one could argue this makes me insufficiently in tune with popular culture, but I seem not to be missing much as I get plenty of offline and alternate media updates from friends and neighbors. Also, the New York Times’ recent reporting about Russia’s election meddling suggests that there is good reason to question whether your Facebook friends are even real people.)
It is probably true that real people were involved in a recent group chat. There were some familiar names, and I recognized a few more after excavating through the additional surnames that many individuals who change their names after marriage tack on to their original names so that people from high school will know who they are on Facebook. The OP listed a number of lost souls whose current whereabouts are suddenly crucially important. The thrust of the ensuing conversation suggests that the existence of the group itself was the impetus for this concern. The sought after people seem to share no connection to each other or to the OP, other than their eligibility to join the group dedicated to alumni of their large midwestern alma mater. Enthusiastic members, presumably interested in expanding the group’s virtual acreage, contributed detailed whereabouts and occupational status for some on the list. Others suggested additional random missing persons to be investigated. Mostly there were blanket “no info” responses, but in one case incarceration status was provided.
It remains to be verified whether this former classmate is actually under detention. If he is and wants to hear from people he has probably forgotten he ever knew, I hope he has access to Facebook. I do not expect that the OP will be writing letters to him in prison.