Renewed Interest in Public Records Surges After Holidays

I miss my old high school friends. I have never gone to a high school reunion. They happen so seldom it seems like something has always come up when one was scheduled. Every year around New Year’s Day I get to thinking about my old buddies. We spent three years in high school hanging out, ogling girls, and trying to figure out what we were going to do with our spare time. We probably wasted more than we should have.

Searching for information on the Internet via a laptop.
People become nostalgic for family and friends around the holidays. Online public records searches peak around these days.

When the new year came around we had a little tradition. We would take our Christmas money and go on a short weekend trip, usually a fishing trip. We did that five years in a row. And then one year we just stopped. Ted and Mark got married. Roger joined the army. John and I just didn’t feel like a two-man trip was worthwhile. We were not heart-to-heart best friends, like those “bromance” guys who do everything together.

After another year or two most of us had moved away from home. I was living in a new town with new friends, met my future wife, and life moved on. But I didn’t really move on. I don’t think you totally forget the people you spent so much of your youth with. Well, maybe the bad guys you want to forget. You’re glad you don’t have to deal with them any more.

I found this essay about how Facebook ruined a high school reunion for one woman. She had connected with all her friends before the reunion so they didn’t have much left to discover about each other. I guess Facebook is the great social medium on the Internet but I don’t use it.

Sometimes I wonder what everyone is up to. If I try to search for them on Facebook it wants me to sign up. Sometimes I see Facebook listings in Google but when I click on them Facebook wants me to log in. Facebook is kind of useless for me.

About a year ago I decided I would search for my old friends on the Internet. There sure are a lot of ways to do that. But how many guys name “Smith” are out there? It’s a common name. Almost everyone knows at least one Smith, right?

I did a little better with “Connors” and “Wright”. But finding old buds you grew up with isn’t as easy as it looks. Everyone moves around and you might run into two people with the same name who lived in the same town. You have to look at their ages and their relatives.

And I don’t want to pay all these services for skiffy information. I did buy one report for one of my buds. It helped me connect with him but when we went over what was in the report he said a lot of that stuff wasn’t about him. I decided I would never buy a report like that again. What if you connect with the wrong guy? Sorry dude, I thought you was someone else.

My quest for online people search led me to discover that a lot of people search for people for reasons other than just connecting with old friends. They say that the Internet brings us closer together as a world community. I think it’s just creepy. There is always someone looking over your shoulder.

Last year’s uproar over the Edward Snowden scandal got a lot of people to thinking about privacy rights and the constitution. Did you know American law did not recognize “a right to privacy” until the 1890s? And here everyone is talking up the constitution and how it is being violated. How do you violate constitutional rights that weren’t defined for more than 100 years after the constitution was written?

I think this whole privacy issue is really complicated. We want to find our friends from the past online but we don’t want anyone monitoring us. And if we do find out what everyone else is doing we lose interest in connecting with them. I talk about calling up the old guys but I don’t actually do it.

Maybe I should just join Facebook and see if they are there. But what if they are and we don’t really have anything to say to each other? That would be dumb.

I guess I’ll just go on wondering. I like a little mystery in my life. But I hope the guys are okay. I really do.