Hello, old friend!
Some say that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. It’s natural for friends to come and go as life moves on and circumstances change, but it used to be that once friends drifted out of our lives, it was possible we’d never cross paths again. In the digital age all that changed when social media suddenly made it possible to reconnect and rekindle friendships with those we may have lost track of years ago.
If you’ve been wondering where some of your old friends are and what they’ve been up to since you last heard from them, the Internet may be able to help you find them.
Where to begin
- Facebook and other social networking sites. Sites like Facebook, a free social networking service that allows registered users to create a personal profile where you can upload photos and keep in touch with other users you know, is a great place to start. Once you have a profile, you can search for other users by name and send friend requests to anyone you know. Your Facebook friends will be able to see what you post on your wall (which is basically like a bulletin board where you post thoughts and photos you want to share with your friends), and vice versa. You can adjust your privacy settings to suit your personal needs, and you have the option to block those you don’t want to see or become friends with.
- Search engines. Facebook is great because it allows you to interact with any long lost friends, but if you just want to find out where in the world your friend is, sometimes a simple web search is all you have to do. Just type your friend’s name into your search engine of choice (like Google.com), and search through the results to see if anything about your friend pops up. It’s not foolproof – there may be lots of people with your friend’s name – but adding in additional information to your search query (like the last place they lived, or a company you know they worked for) can help.
- Alumni organizations. If you knew your friend from school, try doing a search for online alumni groups, or check out websites like classmates.com to see if your friend has registered a profile there.
- Military enlistment websites. If you and your friend were in the service together, look for websites that maintain enlistment information. These sites also usually have “buddy finder” sections, like the one on Military.com, that can help you locate your long lost pals.
- LinkedIn. If your friend was an old colleague from years ago, try tracking them down via LinkedIn, a business-oriented social networking service. As of 2015, LinkedIn has more than 400 million users in over 200 countries and territories, so it’s a great place to find old business contacts and co-workers.1
There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to track down your friend no matter how hard you try, but the Internet is a fantastic tool when it comes to finding information. With luck you’ll soon be chatting about the good old days as you walk down memory lane together.
For more tips on tracking down your friends online, visit WikiHow.
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