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If I were easily influenced—OK, more easily influenced than I already am—I think I would find our modern world scary.  OK, more scary than it already is.

For instance, a particularly insecure person—someone who needs constant affirmation of their friendships with other people—would seem to be incredibly vulnerable to this modern phenomenon—experienced by yours truly just moments ago—of a complete stranger telling me they want to share “Instant Messages” with me.

I, of course, looked at the name, first, to see if it was anybody I might know.  Considering I don’t know anyone named MeGottaBigBooty, I had no remorse about declining their offer.  The insecure person, though, the person who feels they don’t have any friends, the kind of a person who actually answers the questions on a telephone survey, that sort of person might actually accept the big derriere’d one in hopes that it would lead to a friendship.  Or, at the very least, tips on how to get a big booty yourself.

What I can’t figure out is why all these people want to message with me.  My suspicion is that they want to sell me something.  But then, that’s almost always my suspicion.  Accosted by a stranger in the mall, I look for his (or her) kiosk.  Person I don’t recognize comes to my door, I just assume they want to sell me either a candy bar that will somehow benefit the local band or interest me in a new religion.

[As an aside … wouldn’t you think that being told, “I’m a minister” would dissuade people from trying to convince me to join their religion?  It almost never does.  Repeated assertions along the lines of, “I go to church,” or “I disagree with your theology” or “I’m pretty sure you’re a glue-sniffing whack-job” barely seem to slow down their spiel.  Who are they thinking this works on?  Are there people so lonely that they will listen to a complete stranger who is paying them no attention just because they want the perceived company?  Apparently.]

Anyway, there are people amongst us who so crave human companionship that they will even sign up for an account on LinkedIn even though no one in the world has any idea what LinkedIn does or how they came to have account there in the first place.  It’s why we click “like” on pictures of some zit-faced kid we’ve never seen or heard of getting ready for his prom: because we think we might know his parents and we a] don’t want to offend them by ignoring the picture and 2] we’re hoping they’ll one day click “like” on the picture we plan on posting when we finally get a good one of the cat eating out of the dog dish in that cute way he only does when the camera isn’t around.

Did I say “we”?  I meant, “them” or “someone else”.

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About Sam White

Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the national newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at www.tuttles.net) and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.” (found at www.destinyhelix.com). He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as both a minister at a small church and a chaplain with hospice. In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.

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