Find old pals online

Find old pals online

Too often our busy lives preoccupy our minds. Things like keeping in touch with friends take the back seat. Reconnecting with long lost contacts is a great feeling. In this day and age it is easier than ever to find old buddies. Here are some practical ideas for those who are looking to reconnect with pals from yesteryear.

Reverse image search

Many of us earn our livelihoods in foreign countries. For those of us who work abroad, our priority is to send money online to support our families back home. Often the only memories of childhood friends are old photos. The most direct way to find someone is with their picture. A reverse image lookup allows one to do just that. Drop an image into a search query and get results that most closely match the image. Such searches can be done with a number of service providers. The most obvious one is Google.

To do a reverse image search on Google simply visit Google Images. Click on the camera icon, which gives you the option to “Search Google with an image instead of text”. Proceed by uploading the image or pasting the picture’s URL. Other query engines such as TinEye and Pixsy can similarly do reverse image searches with reasonably accurate results.

Social networks

The world is big on social media. As of August facebook alone had over 2.7 billion active monthly users. People share pictures, and often intimate moments of their lives on sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Too many users update their profiles almost on a daily basis. It is highly likely that the person you’re looking for has a presence on one of the many social networks. A Google search of someone’s name can show part of their social media presence. However, users can opt for their profiles to not show up in search engine results. Your search can be much more effective if you run it from a personal account on the platform you want to search. This way it also becomes easier to talk to the friend once you’ve found them.

LinkedIn

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If other social media sites do not get you results, LinkedIn just might do the trick. Unlike other platforms LinkedIn is primarily used by employers and professionals to find opportunities and build a network of contacts. Most people who shun other social media have profiles on LinkedIn for purely professional reasons. Although one can search LinkedIn profiles without signing in, an account is needed to communicate with other users.

People search engines

As the name suggests, these are purpose-built tools for finding people. They go the extra mile to dig up someone’s address, phone number, and even information such as police and court records. Pick the search tool depending on the type of information you need. Some are free while others charge nominal fees. Much of the info these tools generate is compiled from multi-source data including social media pages, search engines, and other databases. Sites like TruthFinder, Pipl, and PeekYou provide various types of data, and differ in their search criteria. For example, TruthFinder lets a searcher input a person’s full name. The user then receives a collection of public records, contact information, and work history for the name instantly. Basic details such as full names are given for free. One usually has to pay a small fee to access additional information like education history, social media accounts, and a list of possible relatives.

Government records

It is now relatively easy to gain access to government records. Court, marriage, and voter registration records are available at many county and state websites. For example, you can find marriage records that mention the date and county of marriage. This can serve as a starting point in the search for an old pal.

The National Archives Record can provide some useful public information. The online public portal keeps over 2 million records that are not available from other sources. The info includes veteran service records, as well as records from government departments that are available to the public upon request.

The Department of Veteran Affairs can help locate military buddies. Other tools that can help find ex-members of the armed forces include the Air Force Personnel Indicator, Marine Corps Buddy Locator, and Navy World Wide Locator.

Alumni websites

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People who went to the same school can often stay connected through their school’s alumni website. It is easy to find an institution’s alumni association via a simple search engine query. To use their sites most alumni sites require users to register with details such as school year and current address. Full registration gives access to photos, class directories, and regular updates.

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