How Hard is it to Find a Lost Friend Online?
If someone were to ask you whether you and your childhood best friend are still in touch, what would your answer be? The lucky few can maintain long-term connections, but the vast majority of people have lost touch with their friends from the past. If you have an interest in finding a lost friend online, there are many ways to do so. It is easy to reconnect if you follow the correct steps.
Join Social Media
Millions of people all around the world access social media sites daily. One of the easiest ways to look up a person online is to create an account on as many social media platforms as you can. These could include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tik Tok. With some of these services, you can simply type your friend’s name into the search bar to try and find them. With other services, it may be harder to do so because they will go by their username rather than their real name. In this case, you can add as many mutual connections from the past as you can. One of these contacts may lead you towards finding your friend.
Googling a person may help you get a lead on their contact information, but it can be difficult if many people share the same name. In addition to this, the person may have changed their name or updated their marital status, which can make it harder to track them down. Try to recall any additional information that you have on the person to narrow down your search results. For instance, you could search their name plus an old email address that they used in the past. This may save you a bit of time in your mission.
Place a Newspaper Ad
It may be possible that your lost friend is not active online. This could especially be the case if they are older. Assuming that you have a general idea of where they are living, you can try placing an ad in their city’s newspaper. To do this, you can write a brief explanation of who you are and that you wish to reconnect with a friend. You can leave your email address or phone number so that they can get in touch with you if they wish. Even if your friend doesn’t read the newspaper, someone who knows them may see it and be able to help.
People Search Software
These websites can search through thousands of public records to extract information about the person you are looking for. They will search through documents such as court records, marriage certificates, online resumes, etc. Often, you will simply need to input their name, and you can find their previous workplaces, educational institutions, and (hopefully) their place of residence. Notably, these services often cost a fee to use them.
Hire a Private Investigator
When you have exhausted all the options described above, you can always hire a private investigator. You can let the investigator know that you wish to reconnect with an old friend, and they will likely take on your case. It will be easier for them to complete the job if you can provide them with more information. This could include information such as their parents’ names, their last known location, their estimated age, and their full legal name. Keep in mind that most investigators charge by the hour, so prepare to budget for a larger expense.
With a little bit of perseverance, you will be able to locate your friend without too much effort. Due to the increasingly digital age, they will likely show up somewhere on the Internet, and you can go from there. If you need more information about them to continue your search, talk to your parents or adults who were around at the time. They may remember a key detail that will help you with the search.