Where do you even begin looking for somebody that you’ve not seen in years – maybe even decades? If all you’ve got is a name and a face, a contact number that’s since been disconnected and an address that they haven’t lived at in years, where can you start trying to find your old friend?
Thanks to a wealth of information available these days, it’s simple enough to find anybody using the internet. Sometimes, a quick Google search of your friend’s name might be all that you need to find a recent news article about them that you can use as a starting point for getting contact details through their company. Or a social media search could throw up relatives you can get in touch with.
But, most of the time, people tend to keep their personal information as private as possible online – so it can be frustrating and time-consuming. Don’t give up! If you keep digging, it’s more than possible to find something that will provide you with what you need to rekindle your friendship and get back in touch.
Start with Anything You Already Have
Think about it: what do you already have on your old friend that could potentially be the key to getting back in touch with them?
Check if you’ve got the following:● School or college yearbook● Address● Email address● Telephone number ● Employer details
You could use this to find out where your old friend went and get back in touch with them. Don’t despair if the email they used to use is sending back a failed delivery notice or their telephone number is now owned by somebody else; you can still use this information to your advantage.
A good place to start is Public Records Reviews. Here you can find websites where you can get access to information like address history records; all you need to do is enter the information that you have on your friend, such as their first and last name and the address that you have for them. You can then check their address history and if luck swings your way, you might just find their current address and be able to send them a letter.
Use Social Media
Social media is a hugely useful tool for getting back in touch with old friends; people have even used sites like Facebook to find long-lost relatives or get in touch with family members they’ve never met, so you can surely find plenty of ways to put it to use when it comes to finding your old friend.
First of all, search for them on Facebook – this is usually the best social network to start with because most people use it, and unlike the others, it requires people to use their full and correct name. If you can’t find them, don’t worry – they may not be on Facebook or they could have locked their profile down so it doesn’t appear in searches. Widen your search by looking for anybody you remember who’s associated with your friend; their parent, spouse, child, or another friend, for example. If you’re successful here, all you need to do is send them a message and ask how your friend is doing; tell them you’d love to get back in touch.
If this doesn’t work, there are other ways to use social media. Write a status telling your story. Get involved in local groups to the last area you remember your friend living in. Get people to share your posts; chances are they’re going to reach your friend or somebody who knows them. Share a photo of them, if you can.
Double Check Any Information You Find
The world is a big place, so don’t be surprised if you turn up information on your friend that’s no longer current, or if you’re given incorrect information by well-meaning people. It could well be that somebody sees your post shared on social media and provides you with information on your friend – only for you to later discover that the information you’ve been given is for somebody else with the same name.
Of course, you’re going to be excited when you receive any potential information but don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Before you can be sure, check it in any way possible; if you’re given a phone number, for example, call it to make sure that it belongs to the person that you think it belongs to, and run any potential addresses through an address finding or checking service to make sure that they are indeed associated with your friend or with a key contact who can help you get in touch with them. If you find a profile on social media that could belong to your friend, look at any photos, or their friend list, if available, to help you verify that you’re on the right track.
Thanks to the many internet tools available today, getting back in touch with an old friend that you’ve not seen for a while is easier than ever.