There are two kinds of people in the world — those who embrace online networking, and those who don’t. There’s the Facebook-LinkedIn-Twitter set, on the one hand, who revel in all forms of digital connectivity, and then there are the holdouts, who aren’t so sure.

Into the fray come my pals, Linda and Ed. Yesterday they emailed a request to family and friends. Could we please help to keep their names off any and all social and professional networks, blogs and other online media that we might use?

Most notable was the benign nature of their complaint. There were no damaging facts, controversy or scandal that they sought to expunge. Rather, it was the persistence of simple information, such as their home address, professions, even good-natured chatter about them, on the e-pages of people they barely knew, that so rankled them. In these Kardashian-krazed times, they didn’t want even truthful tidbits of their lives bandied about like gossip.

I re-read my friends’ note and tried to grasp the scope of the challenge. In an age when cookies track our every move on the Web, and people volunteer all manner of data, Linda and Ed merely want to be left alone.

“Yes, I know,” Linda says, “this is a futile attempt at a private life.”

Indeed. If they’re serious about their goal, a plea to friends is hardly a solution. The U.S. Witness Protection Program would be a better bet.

Readers might well conclude that Linda and Ed are probably Luddites, certainly misanthropes or loners. Not so. In fact, both of these middle-age contrarians have worked at leading high-tech firms, and they use all the latest gadgets. Moreover, among those who know him, Ed is the go-to guy for computer-related questions.

Luddites, they’re not.

Nor are they anti-social. They just prefer an old-school model of friendship that stems from first-hand encounters, where the bonds are more personal than virtual, and go beyond the electronic realm.

For Linda and Ed, it’s obviously too late to “unfriend” the world that has landed unceremoniously on their digital doorstep. But their message is clear: Even the most innocuous factoids may be more than some folks wish to share. Which is their right, however arcane or implausible.

And it’s equally the right of others to mention Linda or Ed online in harmless, truthful ways, despite their wish for privacy.

In the end, Linda and Ed’s appeal may well be a cautionary tale for us all. As their friend, I’ll gladly do my part to aid and abet their request, however pointless that may be. So, too, if everyone they know goes along with the program, the result will be the same. Alas, the privacy we’ve lost to the Internet won’t likely be reclaimed. As the Lindas and Eds of the world beg to be left out of the chatter, I envision the omnivorous PacMan, chomping his way through their plea.

Joan Silverman is a resident of Kennebunk.