Cruise ship friends reunited after 12 years with the help of Twitter

Brianna, left, and Heidi when they met 12 years ago on a cruise ship. (Photo: via Twitter)
Brianna, left, and Heidi when they met 12 years ago on a cruise ship. (Photo: via Twitter)

Somewhere in California, Heidi was trying to work on an essay for her college sociology class. Across the country in Mississippi, Brianna was participating in a time-honored Thanksgiving weekend tradition of looking through old childhood photos and posting them to social media. Both of them were about to make Twitter haters think twice about the platform.

“Hey twitter, I met this girl on a dinner cruise in Hawaii in 2006,” Brianna wrote early Saturday morning, captioning a pic of two adorable little girls on a boat. “We were basically bestfriends for that night so I need y’all to help me find my bestfriend cause I miss her and I need to see how she’s doing now. Please retweet this so we can be reunited.”

Something about that mission captured readers’ hearts and retweet buttons. Perhaps some enjoyed the crazy shot-in-the-dark experiment this was — especially considering how different a person can look after 12 years. Perhaps it’s because so many others remember what it was like to have an instant bond with another kid, especially while on family vacations.

“You’ve inspired me to find my long lost vacation bestie from when I was a toddler too,” wrote Leslie.

Within a few hours, Brianna, amused by her tweet’s viral status, added a request for a husband, as long as the internet seemed to be in a generous mood.

Others also followed suit, asking to be reunited with long-lost bags of money and the like.

But much to everyone’s surprise, in just 11 hours, Heidi was found, thanks to friends who are more active on Twitter than she is.

“Heard you were looking for me,” she wrote, posting a photo of herself in the same blue floral dress, surrounded by family members in matching outfits.

That’s when Twitter went really wild, and Brianna’s initial post has more than 96,000 retweets and 201,000 likes.

Brianna herself summed up the collective response: “YALL I FOUND HER WTF!! TWITTER IS LITERALLY AMAZING.”

Heidi seemed a little more low-key about it all. “Bruhhh it’s been literal years since I was last on Twitter and the first thing I see is a search party for my ass,” she marveled.

While Heidi and Brianna appear to have made contact, they’re not hopping on a plane for a reunion at the moment.

Someone set up a fake GoFundMe claiming to raise money so that the two could meet up, but Heidi called it out as a scam and told others she’s not interested in donations.

Brianna was happy to use her viral status for one more message to anyone watching, however: reminding fellow Mississippians of the U.S. Senate runoff election in her state on Tuesday.

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