Are you trying to locate your best friend from high school? Or do you want to reconnect with your first roommate in college? With time, it is easy to lose touch with your friends, even those who were there with you in those pivotal moments in life. These are buddies you once shared all your secrets with, called up for advice at life’s every twist and turn, and relied on for emotional support.
But maintaining friendships could be challenging, especially as you start adulting. You might have moved states and taken on new roles and responsibilities, forcing you to make new friends and preventing you from keeping in touch with the old ones.
But if you are looking to rekindle those lost friendships, reconnecting might not be so easy. Your friends have likely moved on with their own lives, relocating to different states and changing their contact details. But worry not. In this article, you will learn six proven methods to track down your buddies from the past.
Check Old Contact Details
Start by listing down their old contact information. You might still have their phone number or remember their home address. It is certainly a long shot, but it is very important to try before you progress to the next steps.
Go through your emails from those early days to see whether you could retrieve an email address. Validating whether it is still active is easy—just drop a message to say hi and check whether it bounces back.
In case you find your friend’s old phone number, search it on PhoneHistory. This site provides the complete history of a contact number’s registered owners, together with other useful information, including addresses. See whether the number is still registered under your friend’s name. If so, call them up.
But what can you do when your friend no longer owns it? Look for any other information that could help with your search. For instance, PhoneHistory might list a workplace name or an email address.
However, ensure you check the timeline of ownership first. If your friend had given up the number a few years back, there is a chance their details have changed. This doesn’t mean you need to give up your search. Let’s find out what you can do next.
Did you know that 99,000 searches take place on Google every second? The search giant commands 91.7% of the world’s search engine market and 95.2% of all mobile searches.
A few factors make Google the best search engine to find your long-lost friends. For instance, its bots constantly crawl large volumes of web pages, regularly updating Google’s impressive reservoir of data. And its advanced algorithms can instantly skim through trillions of indexed pages to find the most relevant matches for your search query.
Of course, there is no harm in trying out other search engines, too, whether you prefer Bing or Yahoo! Checking several options will improve your chances of finding useful information. But whichever one you opt for, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use open and close quotation marks to find exact matches.
- Try a few different variations of your search query. For instance, if your friend’s name is Andrew Peter Stewart, look for “A. P. Stewart”, “Andy Stewart”, and “Andrew P Stewart”.
- Search for two or more pieces of information together to improve the search results. For example, type in the name and high school or the name and date of birth.
Reach Out to Shared Contacts
The friend you are trying to locate could still be in touch with other college friends, coworkers, or neighbors, who may help you get through to them.
So, think about where your friend worked, went to school, or hung out, and the people they associated with. Go through any old photos you may have to jog your memory. Write down all the details you remember and determine the best sources to find more information.
Perhaps you can reach out to your old school to check its alumni directory or call friends and colleagues you are still in contact with. If you remember where your friend’s family lived, it would also be worth paying them a visit.
Scan Social Media
According to research, 92.7% of all internet users are on social media. So, the likelihood of locating your friend on one of the networking platforms is extremely high.
The top ones to focus on are Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook has the highest usage among the largest social media sites. Its user base cuts across all demographics, making it highly popular among different age groups.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a professional networking site. This makes it more focused on a specific demographic.
Both platforms offer search facilities for you to find people using their names and other personal details, including location, high school, university, and workplace.
However, based on your friend’s profile, you might want to check other social media sites, too.
Use a People Search Platform
These are data aggregator sites that collect information from a variety of public sources to compile profiles on individuals. So, with a single name search, you can retrieve various useful details about your friend, from their phone number and address to their workplace and names of relatives and associates.
However, most of these platforms will charge a fee to release detailed reports. So, before you opt for a paid service, ensure you select a reliable people search site that updates its database frequently with the latest information.
Search on Alumni Sites
If you are trying to find a friend from high school or college, alumni sites could provide a few leads, too. They allow you to locate old yearbooks and search for friends by creating a free account.
In case your college or high school has an online community set up on one of these platforms, there is a chance your friend has already signed up, too. Even otherwise, you may at least find someone who can lead you to them. Therefore, alumni sites are definitely worth a try.
Finding friends you have lost touch with will take some sleuthing. So, start by checking your friend’s old contact details and reaching out to shared friends and colleagues. Google, social media, people search platforms, and alumni sites will also be invaluable tools to speed up your search.