Last week I saw one of the real benefits for the World Wide Web.
I'd lost contact with a good school friend some time ago and despite joining Friends Reunited I've had no luck tracking him down. OK, I guess I could have tried a few more things but at the end of the day I'd no idea if something had happened to him or whether life just got in the way but I stopped getting Christmas cards and the like some 10 years before.
Then I decided, following a suggestion from a friend at work, to try and Google him. Well .. he did have an fairly uncommon name, I knew he worked in 'electricity' and I knew he was based in the South East of England ... well ... the latter two were true 10 years ago anyway. So, armed with these three pieces of information I tried it.
On the first Google page was a link to a website from one of the major electricity suppliers ... based near Bexleyheath ... OK ... maybe I'd struck lucky.
I emailed the guy with an, 'I've lost contact with an old schoolfriend' email ... and waited.
And didn't have to wait long before I got a reponse.
I'd struck lucky .... he was OK .. his family were OK ... great news all round and a happy ending.
So ... the internet does have it's uses after all.
But with every silver lining is a cloud and now I worry about the livelihood of all those private detectives who used to pay their bills with missing persons cases ....