Scientists call it the Naked Photo Test, and it works like this: say a photo turns up of you nakedly doing something that would shame you and your family for generations.

Bestiality, perhaps. Ask yourself how many people in your life you would trust with that photo. If you're like the rest of us, you probably have at most two.

Even more depressing, studies show that about one out of four people have no one they can confide in.

The Sad Bear 1, by Nedroid

The average number of close friends we say we have is dropping fast, down dramatically in just the last 20 years. Why?


#1. We don't have enough annoying strangers in our lives.

That's not sarcasm. Annoyance is something you build up a tolerance to, like alcohol or a bad smell. The more we're able to edit the annoyance out of our lives, the less we're able to handle it.

The problem is we've built an awesome, sprawling web of technology meant purely to let us avoid annoying people.

Do all your Christmas shopping online and avoid the fat lady ramming her cart into you at Target.

Spend $5,000 on a home theater system so you can see movies on a big screen without a toddler kicking the back of your seat. Hell, rent the DVD's from Netflix and you don't even have to spend the 30 seconds with the confused kid working the register at Blockbuster.

Get stuck in the waiting room at the doctor? No way we're striking up a conversation with the smelly old man in the next seat. We'll plug the iPod into our ears and have a text conversation with a friend or play our DS. Filter that annoyance right out of our world.


Now that would be awesome if it were actually possible to keep all of the irritating shit out of your life. But, it's not. It never will be. As long as you have needs, you'll have to deal with people you can't stand from time to time.

We're losing that skill, the one that lets us deal with strangers and tolerate their shrill voices and clunky senses of humor and body odor and squeaky shoes.

So, what encounters you do have with the outside world, the world you can't control, make you want to go on a screaming crotch-punching spree.

Oh, yeah. Right in the crotch, buddy.


#2. We don't have enough annoying friends, either.

Lots of us were born into towns full of people we couldn't stand. As a kid, maybe you found yourself in an elementary school classroom, packed in with two dozen kids you did not choose and who shared none of your tastes or interests. Maybe you got beat up a lot.

But, you've grown up. And if you're, say, a huge DragonForce fan, you can go find their forum and meet a dozen people just like you.

Or even better, start a private room with your favorite few and lock everybody else out. Say goodbye to the tedious, awkward, painful process of dealing with somebody who's truly different.

That's another Old World inconvenience, like having to wash your clothes in a creek or wait for a raccoon to wander by the outhouse so you can wipe your ass with it.

The problem is that peacefully dealing with incompatible people is crucial to living in a society. In fact, if you think about it, peacefully dealing with people you can't stand is society. Just people with opposite tastes and conflicting personalities sharing space and cooperating, often through gritted teeth.

Fifty years ago, you had to sit in a crowded room to see a movie. You didn't get to choose; you either did that or you missed the movie. When you got a new car, everyone on the block came and stood in your yard to look it over. You can bet that some of those people were assholes.

Your parents, circa 1982

Yet, on the whole, people back then were apparently happier in their jobs and more satisfied with their lives. And get this: They had more friends.

That's right. Even though they had almost no ability to filter their peers according to common interests (hell, often you were just friends with the guy who happened to live next door), they still came up with more close friends than we have now-people they could trust.

It turns out, apparently, that after you get over that first irritation, after you shed your shell of "they listen to different music because they wouldn't understand mine" superiority, there's a sort of comfort in needing other people and being needed on a level beyond common interests.

It turns out humans are social animals after all.

And that ability to suffer fools, to tolerate annoyance, that's literally the one single thing that allows you to function in a world populated by other people who aren't you.

Otherwise, you turn emo. Science has proven it.


See complete article here at

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Date: 1 May 2009 | Author: mesmerX | Category: News | Views: 8549

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Comments: 8

This is silly. Not even your own article, I have to go finish reading it somewhere else. Bovine dropings.

Crediting Cracked does NOT grant you the right to reprint their copyrighted material. You are in violation of Cracked's copyrighted material and in the process currently breaking the law.

Just because you cite the website does not grant you permission to copy and paste the article. You have to seek permission. If you wanted to show people the article then you should just link straight to the article so Cracked gets the traffic.

I strongly suggest you take this plagiarism down and apologies

Steven C
Yeah, you are a really talented writer. Probably the best I've seen. It is almost unbelievable that you could come up with this all by yourself.

The beauty of stumbling upon this, I suppose, is that I'd been feeling currently very depressed and conflicted.

**I believe another "truth" footing modern society's seemingly mass depression is that we are able to craft more unrealistic goals (due to a lack of criticism, etc.) - which are then fostered, especially by media, unto entry of the collegiate atmosphere or the job market (reality).

Regardless, thank you so much. Many of the points made in this article I had never considered at such lengths, but it really is all very true.

Perhaps much of our discontent as a people DOES come from our reformed perspectives; by altering our perceptions of life respectively, certainly we can hope to be more appreciative.
I am grateful for the reminder.
..... I may not "grow a damn plant" in the morning tongue, but I will try to more consciously reap the rewards of my social interactions.


Danae Mesa
amazing. thanks so much. written perfect and i laughed. this is so needed.

I really really think you hit the nail on the head here. We are all connected, we are genetically programmed to be connected to each other and we like it when our connected-ness is made manifest. Fighting this leads to worsening depression. Thanks for this article!

This is a bunch of bull! People are miserable because theyre miserable not because they paid bills online and watched movies at home! I mean really

Denis A
Thank you for sharing this. I'm hoping this message becomes a meme. I'll spread it as far as I can. You've made me smile, even more.

I agree totally with your last paragraph. I use the 'net' to send 'treats' like this to my true friends and close acquaintances. You made me value my 'Naked Potato' friends (4) even more. Off to spread your thoughts. Nice 1smile

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