It used to be once you lost touch with an old friend, they were likely gone for good, save the occasional school reunion. But with technology, it’s never been easier to find an old best friend, roommate, camp friend, or work colleague, or, if you dare, an old flame. Reaching out to old peers can be a rewarding and fun experience, not just to see what kinds of lives these people have led, but also in rekindling old, precious relationships. Here are some great ways to find and reach out to friends from your past.
You’ve probably kept up with some of your friends throughout your life, and it stands to reason that those friends have kept up with others, too. Which means that asking around can begin a train of connections that can lead you back to your long lost bud. On the way, you may come across others who you’d forgotten about, which could be a fun bonus.
Be it high school or college, or even a grammar school, reunions are a key part of an institution’s longevity. Schools want you to be friends with your former classmates – it instills community (and a reason to donate), so they tend to make reunions fun and memorable. Which is to say, going to your thirtieth or fortieth reunion can be a wonderful way to reconnect with old friends in a fun, and natural way. If you get yourself on an alumni committee, you’ll increase your chances for finding old friends.
It seems there’s a new social media site every day, and while your granddaughter may deem Facebook “for old people,” that should be a great reason for you to join! There’s a good chance many of your old friends are on Facebook already. Building a network is an easy way to find out what’s happening with old friends – you can see snapshots of their lives in feed updates, be it about grandchildren, spouses, or fun vacations. Commenting on updates is a small way to connect, though Facebook has a private messenger feature where you can still send a note to your old friend, without all of your social networks reading your correspondence.
If you’re still working, or if you’ve taken on some involved part-time or volunteer work, you may want to find an old work colleague who would be helpful in whatever you’re doing. LinkedIn is a great way to find those peers, it’s professional and non-invasive and its networking platform can lead to other contacts, too. You can also send a private message on LinkedIn.
Sometimes people list their email on Facebook or LinkedIn, others have their address on the alumni site, or even a quick Google search may show an address. Email is a sincere and direct way to connect with friends. Most people find an email that arrives out of the blue a nice surprise, like sending a letter the old fashioned way (you can do this, too, if you find their mailing address).
Just as it’s an effective way to find an email address, a good Google search can come up with mailing addresses, phone numbers, emails, place of work, or organizations a person belongs to, just to name a few things. To find this information, try thinking about your friend – what did they want to be when they grew up, where did they live go after college, do you know their married name, if they got married, or was there an activity they loved to do, such as horseback riding or hiking or music? These details can result in a number of searches. It can be a fun process. You’ll feel a little like a sleuth!
Reconnecting with friends is a wonderful thing to do. Many times you’ll find your friends haven’t changed all that much at all, and it’s fun to see where their lives have led. Doing a little legwork to find your old buddies is worth the effort, and your friend will love hearing from you.