It was very easy, even customary, to lose touch with college or high school buddies or childhood friends before the internet and the rise of social media. Today, Facebook and other social media can help you find old friends through a simple search.
This article explains how to find old friends online and can help prepare you for what will happen when you reunite.
Search for them by name
You should start your search on Facebook by looking up the person by name. Then, scroll down the list of matches and see if they might be among them. Do you recognize any details or photos? Photos can be very helpful if you have little other information to go on. This can be tricky, however, as people’s appearances change after many years. Your search target might show up with a little luck, though.
Look for mutual friends
Think about any mutual friends you might have on Facebook if a simple search fails to yield the desired results. There’s nothing wrong with sending a mutual friend a message to inquire about the person. Ask them if they know whether the person in question has a profile on Facebook. Think about acquaintances or friends of friends that might have more information. Eventually, the links between old friends will yield something useful.
Grow your network
Add more friends to grow your network. Don’t hesitate to add people to your friend list that you come across while searching. You’ll probably see a few familiar faces while looking for your old friend. Your chances will improve if you add these people as friends.
Use people search sites
A people search site, also known as a people finder, is an excellent tool to supplement your Facebook search. Just go to a trustworthy and reliable site, look up your friend by name and location, and wait for the results. People finders have always been a great way to find someone online or find more information about them, at the very least.
Your friend might be more active on Twitter than on Facebook. If you have an account, look your friend up there. The more friends you have on social media, the more friend suggestions will be offered to you, bringing you a little bit closer to your goal of finding your friend.
Do a Google search
As a last resort, a simple Google search might just do the trick. You will be able to track your friend down if there are any mentions of them in Google. Anything will help – a blog, a presence on social media, a news report, a membership in a sports club or another type of club, etc. You’ll get a link to the mention or social media and can get more information by clicking on it, including clues as to their current whereabouts.
What to expect from your reunion
Having realistic expectations is crucial when reconnecting with an old friend. If many years have passed, you can expect them to have changed. You might not be able to pick up where you left off.
Ideally, you’ll have a fun time reminiscing about the good old days. Don’t feel disappointed if the relationship doesn’t develop beyond this.
Consider that you yourself have probably changed a lot in their eyes. You or your friend might have gotten married, had a career change, had children, or suffered a loss or trauma. We also change as people with time. Don’t set very high expectations in any event.
Some people find that they were better at making friends when they were younger. This happens relatively often, and it’s nothing to be upset about. The reunion might teach you several things about yourself that you can use to your benefit in the future.
Another common realization is that you were a worse judge of character in the past. If this dawns upon you when you reacquaint with an old friend, be polite and enjoy the moment. Appreciate that time has passed and that changes everything.
A positive outcome is just as likely. Tracking down a person who was important to you can be a beautiful experience. Your old buddy might become part of your life again.