Some years ago, when faced with the decision to be anonymous or not, I basically said “fuck it” to anonymity. At the time, I was focusing on not being interested in selling my liberty to speak out (on my own spare time, on a web site paid for with my own money) for a salary.
I also thought it was basically impossible to remove any trace of myself. Technically, that is correct. Practically, it will take extra work to locate any such stuff, work that some employer Googling my name probably won’t bother to engage in. So effectively, it is indeed possible to grab back lost anonymity. Plus, I haven’t really lost all that much anonymity, because I have been mostly anonymous already.
Furthermore, I have come to an alternate “fuck it”: The Internet combines the lack of privacy of the village with the lack of humanity of the big, cold city — fuck it.
On the other hand, it does make me pause a little that I might be turning my back on my earlier principles and hiding who I am just for employment’s sake. I’ve pretty much decided that I’m not, if I’m mostly going for privacy and anonymity: leaving only a tiny bit on the Internet that is easily attributable to me, and otherwise being as invisible as possible in cyberspace. Which is why I have no plans to create any Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social networking pages.
But still, the whole exercise does stir vaguely unsettling feelings in me.
(And if you are an employer who found this entry by searching my name: Congratulations, you are far more persistent in your explorations than most.)