WITHOUT A TRACE – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Trace

I have lost people that were important to me. I don’t mean they died, though I suppose they could have. They have simply vanished. They have no presence on social media or in any of the look-ups on the internet. They are gone.

They aren’t doing anything illegal, at least not as far as I know and I doubt they are hiding from Interpol or the FBI. They have just vanished, or as the television show put it, “Without a Trace.”

Periodically I try to look them up. I don’t necessarily even want to talk to them. It has been a lot of years. I doubt I have much to say. I merely want to know if they are okay.

But they are gone. With all of the intense social media everywhere, some people drop off the edge of the world. Perhaps that is what they wanted, for whatever reason.

For me, they are missing, without a trace.

Categories: #FOWC, Daily Prompt, Fandango's One Word Challenge

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27 replies

  1. I know, I’ve done the same, and it seems strange. As you say, perhaps it’s what they wanted, but still….


  2. With a common first and last name plus zero social media presence outside of my blog (And I’ve never considered blogging to be “social media” in its most popular form), I have pretty much vanished without a trace from those who might want to find me for whatever reason. I have more friends and contacts on the internet than I do in real life, and no desires to seek anyone out from my past. I like it this way…


    • When I originally “connected” on social media, I looked up people I might have known and realized — I really didn’t care. I was glad to hear they were “okay,” but that was pretty much it. I really enjoy my internet friends. I actually have something in common with them which is more than I can say for the kids with whom I went to third grade.


  3. Yes, I have just one old boyfriend who has vanished.. Don’t know if he died or moved. No one else seems to know about him, either. With so many of my exes deceased, I can at least imagine he’s off somewhere living a happy life.


    • Some of the missing might be actually dead. There have certainly been a lot of deaths in the “living friends” group to make it smaller ever week. I like to think they’re alive, but they are my age or older … so …


  4. There are a few people from the distant past I have tried to find. They just have no presence anywhere, not even white pages search.


  5. Garry posted a comment on my “I Loved Lucy” post, but there isn’t a button for me to answer, so here goes. He mentioned “December Bride,” and I want to tell him that I did the publicity for that Desilu show for six years. Spring Byington was the star, and she was a stage and screen veteran as well and really knew what she wanted….and got it. She and i got along very well, and on the nights when we filmed the show and I brought a photographer with me, I always consulted with her as to what kinds of shots we should take. The cast and crew called her “The Iron Butterfly.” If she didn’t like what the producer or director wanted, she just sat in her dressing room until they came around to her way of thinking. I really enjoyed working that show. Frances Rafferty and Henry Morgan were in in, too, and everyone was easy to work with. I think, Garry, that you and I had the best years with the industry. Celebrities were more personalities than personages .


  6. I’ve lost track of a few people too, but sometimes I find an old friend and that is quite delightful.


  7. For someone like me who is not on fb, has twitter only to follow and instagram for the same reason, it is easy to loose people…. But the ‘worst’ possible way of loosing someone is still the early death of said persons. Due to my repeated relocations I’ve lost contact with nearly all of them. The former schoolgirl who organised the get-togethers every 5-10yrs doesn’t invite me any longer because I’m not following the ‘general pattern’ and the last time I was able to go to the gathering, she poked openly fun of me and poured negative feelings against me to the camerades of then…. My ‘vis-à-vis’ asked who she was talking about and I said: It’s me – and he couldn’t get over it!!!! I decided then that I don’t need that and although I spoke with several former good friends that evening we all agreed that it wasn’t worth keeping up with the class any longer. I thought of that during the Kana. hearings….
    But losing in the same year a 21 yr young boy on his first ‘grand tour’ on the motorbike in a terrible accident in Argentina AND a 44yr old tremendously musical and outstanding friend due to depression put other ‘losses’ in perspective.
    I’m choosing my friends very carefully and although I’m friendly and fun with nearly everyone, I’m not letting them see in the depth of my heart and soul ‘just like that’.


    • It gets difficult to make very close friends after a certain point in life. We get very complicated and our lives are long, so there’s a lot of history. I’m not so willing to try to explain my life these days, at least in part because there is so MUCH of it.

      I’ve lost all of my older family except one cousin, parents, brother, aunts, uncles, and piles of friends. And I’ve moved around too. Eventually, when you never see people anymore, you lose touch because you realize — you are never going to see them again. In some ways, it’s easier with people you ONLY know online. You don’t expect to see them.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I dare say that many folks are just wary of social media, myself included. They manage to keep a low profile in an age of exposure. Privacy comes at a price these days and it’s up to the individual to be careful about their communication choices. People find me through my business, and I can’t very well cut them off. But I must admit that I’m tempted to cash it in and not do it anymore, choosing to maintain just the friends, and family, I’ve cherished for years and I feel closest to. Hi Friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, somehow they slipped away in the crack of time between Monday and Tuesday.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Yup, some people just aren’t mentioned online or elsewhere, and there are actually expensive services that will remove all traces of a person from online for big money. I remember the old days when having contact with someone from grade school or one’s first job or something was only hit-or-miss, and much rarer than being back in touch. We are pretty spoiled these days with the internet doing all the stalking for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Except these were people who didn’t have big (or sometimes any) money. Maybe they ever connected in the first place. I was away for a long time and when I came back, I tried to find people … but some never showed up. Anywhere. Every now and then, I try one more time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think the older folks tend not to have any internet history, especially if they just never got into it themselves, or if they have been cautious about it. It has frustrated me not to be able to see things like marriage photos or obituaries that were in the news 40 years ago and earlier, when the papers don’t bother to put them online.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s a frightening feeling — I have lost several close friends that way.


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