If it hasn't already happened to you, someday it will: You'll pick up the phone or open an e-mail and suddenly get a blast from the past. Out of the blue, you'll hear from someone you used to know.
It might be a former classmate, hoping to see you at the next reunion. Or a colleague from a previous job who's passing through town. Or a teenage crush who looked you up on the Internet. Or an enemy seeking to make amends.
"It's a wonderful thing to do, to touch base with people, to see how people live their lives, to see how people lived out their dreams. You connect the present to the past," says Laurie Puhn, president of a professional and personal development training firm in New York.Internet Web sites and search engines, such as classmates.com, Peoplefinders.com, Google and ZabaSearch, are making it easy to track down people from the past. The research can lead to reunions that reignite old friendships.
It also can lead to a world of trouble if, say, your nemesis is still holding a grudge. Or a long-lost buddy is looking to crash on your couch indefinitely. Or that "friend" is using you to dig up information on the ex they never got over. Or that now-married old flame wants to catch up with you, sans his or her spouse.
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