Consider Searching and Connecting with Old Friends with a Reverse Phone Lookup instead of a Social Network recently released a story about how the abundance of social networking on the Web has created psychological confusion between friends with whom we have weak ties and those who we have strong ties with. In commenting about social networks, Dr. Steven Strogatz of Cornell noted that, along with blurring the distinction between genuine friends and acquaintances, users are spending more time maintaining relationships with people they don’t necessarily care about. The negatives of social networks are often downplayed, enabling people the opportunity to only display a certain side of their personality or even misrepresent themselves. While this research is still relatively new, and while the affects of social networking are yet to be fully realized, the ease with which we can now search people is one aspect that is generally agreed upon as a positive.

In noting how it may benefit people to spend more time communicating either in person or over the phone, the Oprah article made an interesting point on the downside of social networking. Fortunately with all of the people data on the Internet, you can now easily reconnect with old friends or acquaintances through people searches that enable you to perform a reverse phone lookup, or a certified background check.