Today I learned, quite by chance, that I appear to be the only person with my name on the UK Electoral Roll.
Now, this presents a few possibilities.
1. There are others, but they have opted out of having their names made public.
2. There are others, but for whatever reasons they are not registered to vote.
3. I really am the only one.
My name is a little unusual, but I didn’t realise that it was potentially unique. In a country of over 63 million people, I’d assumed they’d be at least one that shared my forename and surname. 1.
While there is a certain thrill to being the only one with my name in the country, it does also raise a potential problem. If someone wanted to track me down, they wouldn’t have to try especially hard. I don’t think this is very likely, but it’s interesting – and more than a little frightening – how easy I am to find just by looking online.
Obviously my case is special: I wrote for the Escapist for over three years, so my name, face, and other details are all over the internet. That said, I’m hardly the only person who has been less than cautious with my personal information. It really shows the disconnect we have between what we do online and the impact it has on the physical world. We’d never dream of giving strangers so much access to our lives if we encountered them face-to-face, but because the Internet doesn’t feel entirely real, we take much greater liberties with our privacy and security.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find of erasing myself from the world, Time Lord style.
- I don’t count middle names. I have one, but I still don’t count it ↩