Erasing Yourself from History
EVERY WEEK, I READ about someone who wants to erase themselves from the history written about them. It used to be easier back in the days when the most indelible records were granite.
I walked on the historical record of James, located deep within Sligo Abbey. His surname and several particulars were carved away from his headstone, meaning his memory and his legacy lasted only in spoken word of mouth. Perhaps he was illegitimate or maybe his remains were moved to a family site somewhere else. More alarmingly, James' mother might have offended community sensitivities, causing the church to erase reference details about her son from his headstone.
Today, it is much more difficult erasing the electronic reference to a person when they do something they regret. It is so easy for damning information to trickle into easily-discovered corners of the internet where it oozes out to soil a CV or credit check years later.
And when that happens, it is often easier to discard your online nickname or to adopt a new surname. That is one reason why some employers demand to know all your identities during the hiring process and why those same employers will terminate you for cause if you are not forthcoming.
If only things were as simple as scraping off a surname on a granite stone.