I'm a hypocrite. After all this talk of Googling, I just couldn't help myself. I went on a binge looking up every high school and college acquaintance I could think of: people I meant to stay in touch with but haven't and people I secretly wished had come up complete with a mugshot. For the most part I went away empty-handed. Sure I found positives, but no shocking revelations. I actually tried to contact my writing teacher, Ms. Handkerchief-head. I found someone with the same name, a professor in an English department. It seemed a good match. I wrote:
Forgive me if I have the wrong person. I've received messages like this intended for other "Shane Michaelsons" and have generally found them to be silly, but here I am writing some random person on the internet. Who's shaking their head in disbelief now? You, I guess...
Anyway, have you ever taught a writing course at [college name withheld] somewhere between 1992 and 1995?
But, no dice. She assured me that she had never taught there. See! All signs pointed to yes. It was certain that I had found her. I had not. What if a like-named individual showed up on an Al Qaeda roster, and had similarities with your bio. Suppose you also own a domain name which requires your name and address to be public for all the world to see. Now, add a misguided eye-for-an-eye "patriot" who puts the seemingly well-matched pieces together. Your next trip to the mailbox could be fatal...