New Ways To Find Old Friends
If you're feeling nostalgic, try some new technology to reach out to old long-lost friends.
Pick up the phone
Search the good ol' Yellow Pages, find your friend's phone number, and call her. Don't be nervous that she'll be too busy to talk. Call to set up a time when you might be able to get together to really catch up. Start at YellowBook.com.
Reach out to family
If your friend's family still lives in your old hometown, that's a sensible starting point. Touch base with your friend's parents or siblings to find out how you can make contact with your dear pal. Ask your own family, as well; they may have come across your old friends in church or at local sporting events, parades or other community gatherings.
Google yourself, and you'll be surprised by how much information is floating around out there. Now, type in an old friend's name and you'll find info such as wedding announcements, divorces, births, obituaries, social club mentions, professional promotions, real estate transactions and more. More often than not, you'll find contact information, too.
Create a Facebook profile
With more than 70 million active users, Facebook is perhaps the easiest way to reconnect with old friends and family. Search by name, school, graduation date, employer... anything that may identify your long-lost friend.
What's really incredible about Facebook is that you sometimes don't have to search at all. Facebook brings your friends back to you with its "People You May Know" feature. Other social networking sites to try include MySpace and LiveJournal.
Host a family reunion
The purpose of a reunion, of course, is to reunite people who might not see each other on a regular basis. Family reunions enable you to catch up with old relatives and meet new ones.
Advertise the reunion in newspapers and on your social networking sites, and encourage friends and acquaintances of your family to attend. Check out Family-Reunion.com for helpful reunion planning tips.
attend your class reunion
Have you eagerly attended every class reunion or avoided them like the plague? Class reunions are a great way to reconnect with former classmates -- and the more time that's passed since you graduated, the less you'll have to worry about those old high school cliques. Check out Classmates.com for info on your graduating class.
Join the alumni association
Looking for a college roomie or lab partner? Most school websites provide contact information for their alumni associations. The association may be able to connect you with or provide a directory of other alumni.
Send a card
Sending a card in the mail is a truly personal way to reach out to someone. Send a birthday card to that friend you haven't seen since childhood, or commemorate a friend's special occasion with a "Thinking of You" card. If all you have is an email address, then send an e-card with happy wishes. Check out 123Greetings.com.
If you know what your dear old friend does for a living, you may be able to track her down through a professional organization. With more than 120 million members, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network. Bonus: Signing on with LinkedIn is a great way to boost your own professional presence.
Wait it out
If you've exhausted all efforts to find your friend, then just sit tight for awhile. Chances are she's looking for you, too. Get out there -- on Facebook, LinkedIn, your alumni association -- and she's likely to Stumble Upon you soon.
More on living