Could one disappear completely now?

Have you ever wanted to disappear? I’m talking about dropping off the grid, maybe starting over with a new identity. I’m cool with my current identity, and this is probably a good thing. If I tried to go off the grid I’d have to drop this very consistent identity, as any activity from it would make me easy to find.

But when you think about, technology makes dropping away from society really hard. We check our email. We do so many of our activities online, and those activities are tied to an IP address, which is tied to a location. Even proxies aren’t perfect, but they are certainly useful. Our identities are tied to bank accounts and credit cards and photo identification, things we rely on in our everyday lives. Cameras are everywhere: security cameras in stores, smartphone cameras, news media, all devices that you could run into and find yourself on the grid again if you were on the run from something or someone. And then there are the things that tie you to society in the first place (though some of these may not exist or may not be a priority for those who really want to drop off): family, friends, pets,…

In short, disappearing is really hard. Good luck doing it. I have no plans to. But if you do, enjoy being a different person.

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