A man reconnected with his Webkinz friend after 10 years thanks to the magic of TikTok—and internet stalking.
On Thursday, Joe Hegyes asked his TikTok followers for help: He was looking to connect with an old friend from a forum called WebkinzInsider, which is dedicated to fans of the Webkinz animals plushes and their virtual world. It took Hegyes’ followers less than a day for people to find the friend, who back in the day went by username Renthead425.
In his video, Hegyes says Renthead425, aka Daniel, was his “best friend” on the forum.
“We spoke every day,” Hegyes says before revealing some of their last messages: “I’ll always remember you,” “You’re in my heart,” and “I love you.”
Hegyes says that he recently remembered the website and logged on to find a message from Daniel that was sent in 2019. Astonished, Hegyes asked his followers to help him track down Daniel.
His TikTok video has over 160,000 views and over 600 comments filled with people hoping for the best and offering help. “I was just sent this bc my name’s Daniel, I live in the south, love rent, and used to be ABSOLUTELY obsessed with Webkinz but sadly this isn’t me,” one user wrote. Another wrote, “We MUST find Daniel.”
Less than 24 hours later, Hegyes posted an update saying that a follower named Autumn tracked down an Instagram user who “fit the bill perfectly.” The TikTok sleuths then flooded the user’s account with comments asking if he was the right Daniel. Finally, Hegyes messaged him—and found it really was his old WebkinzInsider friend.
It turns out that both of the former friends live in New York City. Hegyes said they’ve planned a Facetime call to catch up on the past 10 years—and that “it’s all thanks to TikTok.”