Singapore is a small country, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the occasional missing person. Such incidents are made all the more stressful because Singapore is small and it should be easier to find them. We can drive across the island in 1 hour (I would say 30 minutes but that would probably break some traffic rules), surely finding a person would be easier, right?

So here are some tips for finding a missing person in Singapore. If there’s anything we’ve learnt about Singaporeans, it’s that our online community is fast and efficient (like our government). We just need to tap into the natural curiosity of Netizens.

1. Facebook plea for help

A frequently lost item. Credit: Lynda Sterling - Everyday Artist Facebook Page

A frequently lost item. Credit: Lynda Sterling – Everyday Artist Facebook Page

This is the best and easiest way to get help. Put up a picture of the person and then ask people to help Share your post. With enough traction, the whole of Singapore would know within the hour, and somebody would have spotted the person you’re looking for. Our nation spends most of its time cyberloafing on Facebook after all, with civil servants getting a corporate version of it next year. Surely there must be someone who knows someone who knows someone.

The only downside is that someone at SGAG might make a meme about it.

2. Make a viral video – by doing something socially unacceptable

Scary. Credit: Killer clown in philipines Facebook Page

Scary. Credit: Killer clown in philipines Facebook Page

So let’s say you’ve tried the Facebook thing and it doesn’t work – maybe you put an ugly photo of the person, or maybe you have too few friends. Make a video instead, but do something really, really irritating and people will share. Like scaring people in a frightening clown costume.

For some reason, Singaporeans share cat videos and social faux pas videos with alarming regularity, so hopping on a viral video’s bandwagon will help boost the reach of your missing person’s message. Just remember to put your missing person’s notice at the end!

3. WhatsApp chain message

Don't spam. Credit: Whatsapp Facebook Page

Don’t spam. Credit: Whatsapp Facebook Page

It’s 2016 and we are still receiving chain messages (I received one just this morning about thyroid guards, which is unfortunately part truth and part misinformation), showing us that yes, people still like to forward things for some reason. So create a WhatApp chain message and send it to everyone on your contact list!

This works best with older folk who like to say “apps” instead of “WhatsApp”, and if you write a line at the end of the message saying: “Now forward this to everyone you love. You might save a life today.”

4. Offer free lava croissants as a reward

Yum. Credit: Flavour Flings Facebook page

Yum. Credit: Flavour Flings Facebook page

If that doesn’t work, take advantage of our Singaporean penchant for all things pastry and which require queueing. If we’re willing to brave queues for hours to get a croissant that oozes creamy egg custard out, surely we’d be willing to look for someone too, right?

As a reward for finding your missing person, dangle a reward like a no-queue pass to Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles (there’s no such thing by the way; it just means you gotta be your own Deliveroo), a tin of butter cookies from Jenny Bakery, a box of Bake cheese tarts or Tai Cheong egg tarts… You get the idea. You’re asking people to exchange meaningless queue-time to productively comb an area – it just might work.

5. Track them via geotags on social media

Just as you give, you can take away as well. Credit: Instagram For Business with Engku AnwarHilmi Facebook Page

Just as you give, you can take away as well. Credit: Instagram For Business with Engku AnwarHilmi Facebook Page

If your missing person is just avoiding you rather than being lost then none of the above methods will be very effective. It’s time to employ stalker tactics in this case. Check out their social media accounts and look for geotags that will show where they are. We’re all such attention seekers that we always geotag where we are so that we will increase our views, and many a time we forget to turn it off.

This is where it comes in handy! Plus you can also see all the other photos taken there and maybe find a new salted egg yolk dish to try out.

Lion. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Lion. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Maybe if Saroo (Dev Patel) used one of those methods in Lion, he would have found his parents sooner! Lion sees Saroo using Google Earth to find his family, presumably by checking all those satellite photos one by one. It’s a really useful way to check out a location before actually going there, but using it to locate someone takes it to a whole other level.

You might even learn some Google Earth tricks from the film!

 

Credits: Lynda Sterling – Everyday Artist Facebook Page, Killer clown in philipines Facebook Page, WhatsApp Facebook Page, Flavour Flings Facebook PageInstagram For Business with Engku AnwarHilmi Facebook Page, Golden Village Cinemas