Everyone in their life has a friend (or even multiple friends!) that they have somehow lost touch with. Before social media and helpful online resources, these friends would be forever lost unless fate helped to reconnect you. However, in today’s digital age, it is easier now more than ever to find long lost friends and reconnect online. In this article, we’ll share our five foolproof ways to help find people online.
A simple Google search
Sometimes finding a long lost friend online is as simple as conducting a Google search of their name. While generally effective, a Google search can often show a multitude of irrelevant search results, especially if you are looking for an individual with a common name. If you have any additional information about their profession, place of residence, or married name, this is also helpful to include in your search. For example, instead of searching John Smith, you can further refine your results with additional relevant search terms such as John Smith, doctor, Kansas City.
Another way to find lost friends online is by utilizing social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. According to emarketer.com, Facebook currently boasts 1.69 billion users worldwide. This number continues to grow, making it one of the best sources for finding family, friends, and acquaintances that you have lost touch with. Creating an account on Facebook is simple, free, and does not require specific skills or technical prowess. Once you have created an account, simply search for your lost connections to find profiles that match that name. With a little detective work, it is relatively easy to find the person you are looking for based on their profile, photos, and general information. It is important to note that some profiles are protected by strict security measures so they may difficult to review.
Community pages and other networking sites
Another way to leverage social media and other networking sites is through a site’s Groups or Community Page features. These types of community-based networking can help find missed connections and mutual friends and acquaintances on many sites. A great place to search on the hunt for a long lost friend could include a Facebook group for your high school or university alumni.
A background check
An in-depth way to find a lost friend or family member could be through a comprehensive background check through a reputable people search tool online. These services are often paid and require the first and last name of the person you are looking for. These types of background check services are more comprehensive than a Google search or social media networking sites and can provide information like criminal charges, court and civil records, financial information, or even whether the individual has died. A background check can sometimes provide the direct contact details for an individual you are searching for, but not always, so we recommend utilizing social media as a starting point of contact.
Reverse image search
This is perhaps the most difficult way to find a long lost friend online, but if all other options have failed, it can be a useful tool. If you have a photo of your friend or family member, you can do a reverse image search to find any instances where this photo might be used in other places online. This type of reverse search can often turn up unexpected results, such as social media profiles, newspaper announcements, obituaries, etc. For this to be effective, it is best to use a photo that would be of significance to this person – a family or class photo work well. Even if you are unable to find your friends via a reverse image search, you may be able to find other mutual connections such as old classmates or family members.
While connecting with a lost friend online can be difficult, we hope our five strategies for finding lost connections online will be helpful in your search.