Finding Long-Lost Friends, Relatives and Classmates
Have you lost contact with someone important over the years? Forgot their contact information and wondered where they are now? The internet is a great resource for finding long-lost friends, relatives, and classmates. Websites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and many others can assist you in reconnecting. You may find that it is a lot easier than you may think to locate lost friends and relatives.
Start your search with www.facebook.com. Facebook was created and is used specifically to find and keep in touch with the important people in your life. Millions of people across the globe have a Facebook page. Facebook is absolutely free; by simply filling out the short registration you can create your own Facebook page. From there you can type your friend's name in the search bar at the top of the screen. Then click on the "People" tab in the left column. Then you can narrow your search by giving a geographical location, school or workplace. If any of the people you wish to reconnect with have a Facebook page, you can send them a message. Also, once you have a page on Facebook, anyone trying to find you will be able to contact you directly. By posting a picture on your profile page people will be able to more readily identify you as someone they know. To post a photo click "Home" on the top left of the web page, "Welcome" on the list on the left of the page, and "Upload A Photo" on the middle of the page in the number 2 box. Then just click "browse" and find a picture of yourself on your computer, and double-click on it to upload the picture to your profile. You can also add the name of your high school or college to your profile information and Facebook will show you everyone else that has posted as being a part of that school in the past. The chances are good that the person you are looking for has a Facebook page. Even if they don't, it is still good to have one so lost friends and family members can find you.
Another great option for finding lost friends is www.myspace.com. MySpace launched before Facebook, so the majority of the people now on Facebook were originally members of MySpace. On MySpace you can make a page and do everything you can do on Facebook - post pictures, information, etc. However, since it was first, MySpace has a number of people who did not go on to create a Facebook page. If you're looking for someone who is not on Facebook, chances are they may still be using MySpace. You can search for your long-lost friends without registering as a member. Go to myspace.com and click "Find Friends". Type in the name of the person you are looking for. A list with everyone who has that name, their age, and often the city and state in which they live will come up. Like Facebook, it helps to have your own profile and picture so people can identify and find you.
Facebook and MySpace are the leaders in the field, but other sites are available for more specific searches. Classmates is a website that reconnects people who attended the same schools. Go to www.classmates.com, click on the state you graduated in and follow the guide to finding your school. Classmates will tell you how many people have already registered on their site from our school and will ask you for your own contact information so former classmates can email you. Much of the information is free, but to interact with other "classmates" you have to purchase a Gold Membership. Also, prepare to get a lot of emails from this site.
www.linkedin.com is a website specifically geared to share information between business colleagues. On LinkedIn you can read and offer references and keep in touch with former business associates. While the site can be valuable for reconnecting with past business associates, be prepared for people you barely remember to ask you for a reference or job leads.
www.zabasearch.com is a great site for getting the address and phone number of a lost friend, and you don't have to create a profile or join as a member to get basic information. Go to zabasearch.com and type in the person's name or phone number (if you have it) and click the "Free People Search" button or "Search by Phone Number" button, depending on which search you used. When you click "Free People Search" a listing of people with that name in the United States will appear. If you would like to you can narrow the search down by state and search other names at the top of the page. The search will give you the year each person was born, their address, and telephone number. Clicking Get Dirt next to one of the names will give you a complete background summary of that person with a list of past residencies, list of relatives, etc. The cost for this enhanced search ranges from $39.95 to $49.95.
www.zoominfo.com is a good site for finding the phone number, website and info about a company. This used to be an excellent free resource to find contact info and professional titles for individuals and employees of companies, particularly those in executive positions. The company now charges a fee for all personal contact information. Unless you need on-going contact information for jobseeking purposes, or business leads, you can probably find what you need by calling the company or going directly to the company's website that are provided free on the site.
If you can't find your friend on the internet, don't forget the many other options for reconnecting. Military websites, trade associations, high school reunion organizers, college alumni associations are all good places to inquire. If you know your lost friend was the member of a church or volunteered for an organization, was involved in local politics, or was passionate about a hobby, try contacting the respective group for help. Don't expect them to give you the contact information. Instead ask if you can leave a detailed message for them to pass along to your friend or lost relative, with the hopes they will get in contact with you.
There are so many different ways to search out lost friends and relatives; it is almost impossible not to find someone unless they just don't want to be found. Once you get started you'll soon discover how intriguing and rewarding it is to search for long-lost friends and relatives on the internet.