So I was trying to find my old colleague Dave Snyder on Facebook and I couldn't do it. Earlier, I had tried to find Michael Davidson, a guy featured in my book. Couldn't do that either. I'm sure they were out there somewhere, but did I really want to wade through dozens, maybe hundreds, of profiles to get to them? No way.
Out of curiosity, I searched on "Charlie Moe" and "Kate Moe" and found several of each but no more than a page or two. If my kids were older and had profiles, one could probably suss them out. But then, that's based on today's Facebook user base, a base that's growing rapidly. When my kids are old enough to engage in online social connectivity, search functions will be more dynamic on whatever Facebook heir is being used but will it keep pace with the incrementally more Charlie and Kate Moes online?
Then there's finding people on Google. Sometimes creepy, sure, not everyone wants to be found. But in general, it's good to be available. That's why phone books are published. You want security and selective anonymity but you want people- friends, employers, contacts- to be able to reach you. And beyond that, humans want to be unique and viewed as such. I want to be me more than I want to be part of a subset of name sharers.
So I wonder if new parents are in some way charged with providing a distinctive name for their baby. Is it irresponsible for the Thompsons to name their son Jacob given the world he's going to be living in? If there are no computers and they live in a small town, everyone in that town will know young Jacob Thompson. But we don't live in that world, we live in a world where I know that people in Kenya and the Ivory Coast are reading this blog.
To help their child make his way in the contemporary and future world, should the Thompsons name their kid Blizzard Supertramp Chewbacca Thompson? Or maybe something a little better than that? But not just Jacob?