I live in one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas on the planet. When read correctly, my address can help you find the location of my home without your ever having to had traveled to my neighborhood. There are probably more than a thousand people living in my apartment complex, and yet each and every one of us might as well live on a deserted island or in another dimension, because google maps doesn’t recognize my address.
Google is aware of my residence, of course. What isn’t google aware of? The fine folks at google can tell you my last three addresses and probably speculate on my next two. You can locate either corner of my block, kick it into google street view, and look right at my apartment. You can practically peer in the window and see me undressing (though I don’t recommend it, for your sake). But if you type that address into the search field, google maps will come up dumbfounded. I wish I’d known about this before signing my name on the dotted line. It wouldn’t have stopped me from moving in but I might have asked for a break on the price.
You’re probably thinking that it’s no big deal, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not. But being unlisted in google’s infinite address book does pose some practical problems. When people come to visit, I can’t just leave them to their own devices. I have to actually tell them how to get to my house, or at least the last leg of the journey. This is a bad look because I am terrible at giving driving directions. It’s also a problem if I want to order food online. Slovenly shut-ins everywhere are making food orders through the internet, and I have to use the phone like it’s 1997 or something. It’s humiliating.
Here I am, a willing supplicant to the New World Order, and my address isn’t even listed with google maps. I’m not trying to stay off the grid, I have no manifesto. I want to be targeted with endless junk mail offers tailored around my internet habits. But that won’t happen as long as I live at this address which is invisible to the internet. Funny that it’s not invisible to bill collectors.