Finding Your Old Friends on Facebook by Lee Elliott
Facebook makes it easier than ever to reconnect with old friends. Learn the easiest ways to find them online.
In the days of yesteryear, reconnecting with an old friend required you to scan the white pages or track the person down through a mutual friend. It was hit-or-miss, and the chance of success lessened with each year that ticked by.
In recent years, however, Facebook has changed the way people connect and reconnect online.
Facebook got its start on college campuses before rising to popularity with the under-30 population. Facebook use has since soared among the baby boomer generation as people begin to recognize the ease in finding old friends online. High school classmates, college roommates and former colleagues were suddenly popping up everywhere.
Here is how to find your old friends on Facebook along with some tips and tricks for rekindling that relationship.
Using the Search Feature
Facebook has a feature that allows you to easily search for specific people. To search for people you know, simply type the person’s name in the search bar located in the upper left corner of your homepage. A list of results will appear and you can scroll through the results until you find the person you are looking for.
You may be able to identify your friend from their profile picture along with their listed hometown. But if you are unable to identify them from the list, you may click on each result to view that person’s page. Looking at a person’s Facebook page can give you further clues as to whether or not they are the person you are looking for. Once you have found the person you are looking for, click “Add Friend.” A friend request will be sent to that person and they will either accept or reject your request for a connection.
Of course, searching for a name may return dozens or even hundreds of results. Rather than sifting through each one, you can narrow down your search even more by entering some additional information about the person you are looking for. Here’s how:
Click on “Find Friends” at the top of your page.
Under “Search for Friends” on the right side of the page you will see various boxes to enter information about another person. Enter as much information about the person as you can, including their hometown, where they attended high school or college or their employer. Each time you type some information into a box, Facebook will automatically filter the results and produce a new list for you to check.
Another way to find old friends on Facebook is to “like” pages representing schools, clubs or businesses. For example, the college you went to likely has its own Facebook page. And by “liking” that page, you can come across other people that have also liked the page and likely have some connection to the school.
In the search bar located in the upper left corner of your homepage, type in the name of any school, club, or company you have ever been a part of. You can also search for sports teams, bands or other things that you are a fan of to see if they have a Facebook page. “Like” any pages that are relevant to you by clicking the “Like” button.
When you “like” a page, you will begin receiving that page’s posts in your feed and you can cross paths with old friends who have also liked the page.
Another way to come across old friends on Facebook is to join groups that people from your past may be a part of. “Groups” are pages that are set up to represent a group of people engaged in a hobby or interest. These group pages are used to communicate information about meetups and news. And they are also great for finding old friends.
For example, if you used to live in Seattle, WA and are an avid golfer, some old golfing friends of yours may be members of a “Seattle golfers” Facebook group.
To search for groups, click the upside-down triangle icon in the upper right corner of your page. Then click “Find Groups.” Use the search bar to type in “Seattle golf” or “Washington golf.” Then click “Groups” near the top of the screen.
You can view the members of each group by clicking on the page and then clicking on “Members” on the left side. It is there that you may find some of your old friends.
People You May Know
When it comes to finding old friends on Facebook, you don’t have to do all the work. Once you begin building up a network of friends, Facebook will begin to put together a list of people you may know based on mutual friends, common employers, liked pages and other criteria.
To view the people you may know, click on the silhouette of the the two people that appears on the upper right side of your page. Any pending friend requests will appear along with Facebook’s suggestions for “people you may know.” Browse through these suggestions to see if any of them are indeed old friends and send them a friend request if so.
Facebook makes it easy to stay in touch with people and maintain relationships. Happy Facebooking!
Lee Elliott is a writer from the Raleigh, NC area. He loves meditation, running, and long walks with his Yorkshire Terrier. You can find more of his writing here.