How to Find Old Friends Online
Hundreds of promises are made each year, before the graduation season. And every year, after the stress of life, many of them break down. We all have an old high school friend with whom we swore to stay in touch, to be at each other's weddings and other life-changing events. But for a variety of reasons, our paths diverged further, and there was a moment in which we lost contact. They may have changed their names.
You may have moved to another country. Sometimes, life happens, and connections end. But in an interconnected world, where information is freely available through the Internet, finding them is not so difficult. The first step is to write on a piece of paper and write down whatever you remember. Were you from the same city which last address do you remember? Do they have any particular ethnicity? What were they going to do professionally? Anything can help you rewrite the story. And that's where your search begins.
Avoid falling into many rabbit holes on the Internet by using a professional search service. Using state-of-the-art technology and algorithms, search sites crawl thousands of websites for specific information, which they organize into a single report. All you need to do is type in the name in the search bar. But not all search services offer the same benefits or the same price model.
Use Search Engines
If your budget is very limited, use search engines, but try to use their latest search options. Input your data and check each result for information or clues to continue your research. If you're lucky, you may find a recently published article, or some news about the company in which your old friend works. Other useful information you may find is details about their social media accounts or perhaps a relative. Go back to your original list and write down everything that seems important. Then, try to verify your data. Find more websites with similar information, compare and contrast, and decide if what you found is true.
Use Social Media
While you can look at social media, your second option is to open your search to the public. Create a post with all the information you have and set it to public view. Ask other people to share too. Here are some tips to get your post out to a wider audience:
- Get as personal as you can. Talk about your friendship and what you shared.
- Be specific on your desire for others to share your post
- If possible, include an image.
- Share on groups, and if you can afford it, pay for a promoted post
Use Local Papers and Classified Advertising Sites
If nothing else gives you results, try paying for a classified ad on your local paper. Although the person you are looking for may no longer exist, anyone with more information can reach them. Another good resource is classified ad sites, such as Craigslist, which also has a section for lost contacts. Finally, check the observations. Although this is the last place you want to find your friend, it will give you the peace of mind that you have to stop looking.
Although there are many stories of lost friends on the Internet, your efforts will be in vain if no one wants to find them. Find out when to stop and respect your old friend's wishes. You never know the reasons behind your decision to remain anonymous, and in some cases, their safety may be compromised.
If you find your friend, take the time to plan what you want to say on your first message, reintroduce yourself with some facts about your life, and whenever possible if so, get together.