How to Find Old Friends Online
Friday, 26 June 2020

 Each year, before graduation season, hundreds of promises are made. And each year, after life unravels, a lot of them are broken. We all have an old high school friend with whom we swore to keep in touch, be at each other’s weddings, and other life-altering events. But because of many reasons, our paths became further apart and there was a moment in which we completely lost touch. Maybe they changed their names. 

 Maybe you moved to another country. Sometimes, life happens, and connections are lost. But in an interconnected world in which information is freely available through the internet, finding them is not that hard. The first step is to get pen to paper and write down anything you can remember. Were you from the same town? Which is the last address you remember? Did they have a particular ethnic origin? What were they planning to do professionally? Any tidbits can help you rewrite a story. And this story is where your search begins. 

Avoid the falling through the internet’s many rabbit holes by using a professional people search service. Using the latest technology and algorithms, search sites crawl thousands of websites looking for specific information that they then organize into a report. The only thing you need to do is type a name in a search bar. But not all people search services offer the same benefits or have the same pricing models. To understand which one is better for you, visit This website offers valuable and interesting reviews and comparisons so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Some of the things that can vary are privacy policies, search methods, technology, prices, and turnaround time. 

Search Engines

If your budget is extremely limited, use a search engine, but try to do it through their advanced search option. Input your data and check each result for information or clues to continue your research. If you are lucky, you might find stuff like a recently published article, or news about the company in which your old friend works. Other useful information you may get are details about their social media accounts or probably something about a relative. Get back to your original list and write down everything that may seem important. Then, try to verify your data. Look for more websites containing the same information, compare and contrast, and decide if what you found is true. 

Social Media

While you can look on social media, your other option is to open your search to the public. Create a post with all the information you have and set it to public visibility. Ask other people to share. Some tips to make your post reach a wider audience are:

1. Get as personal as you can. Talk about your friendship and what you shared. 
2. Be specific on your desire for others to share your post
3. If possible, include an image
4. Share on groups, and if you can afford it, pay for a promoted post

Local Papers and Classified Ads Sites

If nothing has given you results, try to pay for a classified ad on your local paper. While the person you are looking for is possibly no longer there, someone that has more information may reach out. Another good resource is classified ad sites, such as Craigslist, which even has a specific section for lost connections. Finally, check obituaries. While this is the last place in which you want to find your friend, it may give you the peace that you need to stop searching. 

While there are a lot of stories of long lost friends reconnecting through the internet, if someone does not want to be found, your efforts will be futile. Know when to stop and respect your old friend’s wishes. You never know the reasons behind a decision to remain anonymous, and in some cases, their safety might be at risk. 

If you do find your friend, take your time to plan what you want to say on your first message, re-introduce yourself with some facts about your own life, and, whenever possible, get together. 
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