Very few things surprise me. Often times the stuff that does manage to surprise me is not anything earth-shattering, but instead some odd fact that I should know, but somehow don't. For instance, there is a friend that I hadn't spoken to in ages, and something came up that made me think of them. Problem is, I have no idea where they are, or how to get ahold of them. My first instinct when wanting to contact somebody is to Google them and see if an e-mail address, street address, phone number, place of work, or some other relevant piece of information comes up. Since Google knows everything, this is not a wholly unreasonable assumption.
Imagine my surprise to find that there are people who have zero presence on the internet.I spent the next 20 minutes Googling people I know only to find out that most people have no presence on the internet! People with blogs or who are prominent in the tech sector pop right up. People who are members of organizations or clubs that have an internet presence show up with some digging. Still other people are buried, but can eventually be unearthed because of some event they were involved in that made it to the internet... a baseball game, a school reunion, a public meeting, job function, or something like that. Even if these people don't put themselves on the internet personally, it always seems that somebody connected to them will eventually mention them online somewhere. But now I know that's not always true... most people I know have complete Net Anonymity.
I don't know why I find this to be surprising or bizarre. Odds are most of these people could care less that they are not on the Net (and would probably be happy about it if they knew). It's actually a bit refreshing considering that people who want to be on the Web are forever fretting about their visibility and Google rank. Turns out there is a world outside of the internet after all.