How To Track Down a Long-Lost Friend
It is inevitable that, in today’s chaotic world, we lose touch with a few friends down the road. But thanks to many of today’s technological advances, it is far simpler to find someone than ever before.
There are many resources at your disposal to help track down a long-lost friend, whether you decide to do it the old-fashioned way or you take the more technological route. You can choose to enlist the help of a PI (private investigator) or you can go for the DIY method (do it yourself) and search for people online. The latter may sound complicated at first but you might be surprised how much you can find online nowadays.
Start by collating all the details you have of your friend. It does not have to be current; all previous information can be helpful too. Write down their (first, middle, and last) names, date of birth or approximate age, addresses, and other basic personal information you can remember. As well as these details, if you have the name of previous employment or academic institution such as high school or college, add these to the list. If you know their profession or favorite sports team or if they’re passionate about a specific hobby, these details could just be the key to finding them. No information is too small or insignificant when it comes to tracking someone down.
You can use a most recent phone number or location to search for people online via a search engine. Google holds a wealth of information but there are other sites and search engines that can even provide sites directory information, such as the yellow and white pages.
Another way to get started is to reach out to mutual acquaintances if you have them. This way, you may be able to contact your friend without ever having to really search.
If, however, you do not have any contacts who know this person, keep this in mind for your online searches. Finding a sibling, parent, child, or friend in common could be what leads you to your friend.
Also, share your search with other friends who might be able to help. Sometimes, other people’s locations or styles mean that their searches turn up different results. Make sure to run down any leads you get: phone numbers, addresses, online profiles, etc.
There are public records about everything and practically everybody. You should start with the most recent and relevant information you have on the person. This information could be in relation to the school they attended, their marriage, an employment registry, or a social affiliation.
Most organizations, colleges, and companies have directories for present and past members, students, and employees. Some information may be private due to data protection laws but even the slightest new information could get you closer to your goal of tracking down a long-lost friend.
Usually, you can access registers of alumni online in addition to many other public records, such as court records, marriage licenses, and criminal records. Not all the details are made public but there is an enormous quantity of information on all US citizens available online.
Another of the most helpful online resources you’ll find is social media. It is difficult to find someone nowadays who does not have a profile on at least one social media site. These websites are exceptional for networking.
Sites such as classmates.com, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Instagram, and LinkedIn should be among the first places you look for your friend or mutual acquaintances whose information you know. You can refine your searches within the site by filtering through associations, workplaces, schools, colleges, and more. Use these tools to narrow down your search.
Rediscover a Connection
Tracking down old friends doesn’t have to be a challenge or a burden on your cashflow. With more online connections than ever before, finding the necessary information can be much easier and cheaper than in the past. Use these ideas to rekindle an old relationship, whether that be a friend, a lover, or a business partner.
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