A sixteen year old girl from Israel started to chat with me, completely out of the blue. She was surprisingly well-spoken for her age (meaning, she was able to form complete sentences and didn’t use any of these modern abbreviations) so I honored her with a reply and didn’t give her the usual “go kick yourself” and put-on-ignore list treatment that I have developed for teenagers who think I have time for them. But I do wonder whether she’s real or pretend jail bait. Is she just naive or someone trying to snare a pedophile by chatting up random users?

Has our society grown so paranoid that they would do that sort of thing because the Internet is just full of perverts? Or has society degenerated even more and there are actually so many perverts out there that such tactics may have a worthwhile ROI?

And on the flip side of the coin I feel old and disillusioned that I am paranoid enough about my fellow citizens and humans to consider such possibilities. One should be happy to make a friend – or politely ignore someone one does not want to talk to – and not question every random stranger’s integrity.