Lifestyle: Tips for finding your childhood friends
The internet has changed our lives. As we have seen during the pandemic, it has allowed us to stay in touch with our loved ones. And if you go in search of your childhood friends, it will definitely help as well. With the internet, almost everything is possible. So, how to proceed? Here are some great tips.
A search engine is the first place:
Before you start your search, write down all the information you have about your friends. Note the first and last names, the years during which you were in contact, the schools and classes you attended, the city of residence, etc. Think if you have the names of your friends’ siblings, write them down as well.
Start by doing the first search in a search engine. The most popular one is of course Google. However, if you use any other, you will be just as successful. Sometimes you will find your friends quickly and easily. This is the case if few people have the same name or if your friends have a particular profession or they are well-known. But other times you have to look a little more or use other methods.
Google (or another search engine) will show the results based on social media listings or data broker profiles. Google has no profiles itself, it only shows the information found on various websites.
The old-fashioned directory:
Before, to find the contact details of a person, it was enough to use a directory. Know that you can still always do this. The difference is that today the directory is on the internet. With Yellow Pages for professionals or White Pages for individuals, all you have to do is enter a person’s surname, first name, and probable place of residence to get their current address and telephone number.
If you are a cross-border worker or one of your childhood friends has gone abroad, you can use the world directory. It allows you to do searches similar to those of the Yellow Pages or the White Pages but internationally.
Find them on Leadar:
Your childhood friend probably already has some work experience. So, take advantage of the information work networks have on them. Try looking your friend up on Leadar. If you know what company they might be employed at, that would help sort the results. If successful, you will get the contact details to get in touch with your friend immediately.
Facebook, the biggest social network:
Facebook has nearly 3 billion users worldwide. So, there is a good chance that your childhood friends have an account. You can therefore search on Facebook by entering the name of the person, their school, or the company in which they work.
But usually, 2 scenarios are possible:
– Your friend protects their privacy very well and nothing appears on them in the first results. You will have to look elsewhere. They might be using an alias or other imaginary information like a date of birth.
– You will find links to their professional profile (on Twitter or LinkedIn), even the address of their place of work, or even a personal blog. Then all you have to do is contact them.
On social networks, it is also possible to find a person through mutual friends. This method can be successful because some people change their names or post nicknames on social accounts. Know that if your searches on Facebook do not work, you can try your luck on Instagram or even Twitter.
LinkedIn, the professional network:
Not everyone is on Facebook or Instagram. Also, you can try your luck on LinkedIn. This social network is a bit special. It differs from the others in its functions and aim: it is a professional network! If you know where your friend went to school or know the company they work for, LinkedIn can be very helpful. Also, people use their real names on professional networks so the search will go easier.
Try alumni websites:
If the goal of your quest is to find a former classmate, you can register for free on the following websites.
Once on the site, all you have to do is fill in the name of the establishment to access the list of former students. Also, find out about the schools you have attended and about the possible organization of evenings for former students.
Many sites have sprung up to find old acquaintances. On such sites, classmates can reconnect with each other directly. You can even find old photos. Even if you don’t find the friend you are looking for, you can always find a friend in common, a brother, a sister, or a cousin. You have to make your network work. To find former students of a school, it is also a good idea to go to meetings organized by the establishments.
Parents, a good source of information:
If you have children, you know that we often sympathize with other parents and keep in touch with them. Also, to find a childhood friend, it is possible to question your parents if they have contacts of fellow parents from your childhood. If you attended a football club, tennis club, or dance or music school, you can also use this route to begin research.
Or maybe they have some old contact information. Then you can run it through PhoneHistory and see if the contact details are still relevant. Maybe that will lead you to finding new phone numbers or social media links.
How to proceed?
When looking for a childhood friend, you should always make sure that the person you found is the right one. Double check before contacting them. Prefer to contact them by email or social media message. Don’t put pressure on your childhood friend! It is always possible that the person contacted is not the right one. Avoid the phone.
Also, be aware that some people pay particular attention to their privacy. It is, therefore, more difficult to find them even on the internet. If you encounter difficulties in your research, you must do it differently, by looking for common acquaintances for example.
Once you have reconnected, all you have to do is chat and then, if possible, make an appointment to meet again for a drink.