Life is unpredictable, and close friends’ life baths may diverge for decades. Thanks to the internet and online people-finding services, it is now easier than ever to restart old friendships.
7 Effective Ways to Track Down Old Friends
There are several ways to find long-lost friends, and you should try all of them to maximize your chances.
1. Create a starting point
First, you should plan your search and systematize all the information you can remember about your friend. It may include the following details:
- Names and aliases
- Last known address & phone numbers
- High school or college
- Close mutual friends
- Family members you know
- Mutual class or schoolmates
2. Check physical leads
Start with mutual acquaintances or friends you can find in your city or county. The most effective way to restart an old friendship is through a mutual friend you can call or meet.
Even if they can’t provide a valid phone or email address, they may connect you with a helpful sibling.
3. Enter the collected info into people search sites
When trying to find people online, you should try a pool of people checking sites rather than just one. Each website can provide different pieces of the puzzle, so be creative.
Neatly organized frontpage and clearly visible sections are what information.com offers to first-time visitors. Information.com can provide valuable insights into your friend’s family ties and close associates.
To start your search, enter their name and last-known city or state. The more details you can provide, the bigger your chances.
Launched in 1994, alumni.net has become the most prominent student network in the US. You should try it out if the friend you have been trying to find was your classmate or if you met them in college.
This service will also help if you’ve managed to track down a colleague of your friend. Classmates.com is more helpful if you need to find high school buddies.
This site’s superpower is linking the submitted information to matching profiles on all social networks.
While other people lookup sites require a name and a city or state to initiate a search, Social Catfish asks for a name and a country. Among other specialized services, it also provides reverse image lookup.
4. Systematize online information
Having extracted valuable bits of information from several online people search platforms, you should spend some time putting the results in order. Then, you should check out the reports’ leads one by one.
5. Private detective vs. people search site
If you are firmly decided to track down that friend of yours, you can search for a private investigator in your area. Rather than competitors, private detectives and people search engines are partners.
Good as people lookup sites are, their AI-based software can sometimes mix up the records of individuals with similar names. Private eyes are experts in verifying information and eliminating duplicate entries.
6. What to do if you find your friend?
Don’t get overexcited if the above methods have worked and you’ve managed to track down your long-lost friend.
The safest way to restart communication is via email. If they reply to your message, you can continue the process of rebuilding your friendship.
If there’s no reply, don’t send a reminder. Maybe your old pal has other things on their plate right now and will reply when they find some free time.
7. What to do if you couldn’t track down your friend?
In this case, you can either repeat the online lookups after some time or accept the fact that their tracks are lost for good.