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Marlan Franklyn, the most famous delivery man online: 'I'm not an Internet person'

When UPS driver Marlan Franklyn became New York City's most popular delivery driver this summer thanks to the online community, it was definitely news to him.

"I'm not an Internet person at all,'' Franklyn told TODAY.com. "That's what makes this so crazy."

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Marlan Franklyn has become New York City's most famous delivery man thanks to his newfound online popularity as a result of a social media app and a popular vlogger.

Now it's gotten to the point where Franklyn doesn't want to let down his growing group of online followers who ask him for selfies on the street and follow him on his route and outside of work on the social media app Beme.

"I have to raise myself to another level because now I have not only UPS depending on me to do a good job but others out there,'' he said. "I find myself reminding myself I can't let my family down and others following me. It motivates me."

Franklyn, 48, has been working for UPS for 16 years and driving the same route in the Tribeca and Chinatown sections of Manhattan for the past six years. One of his customers and friends is popular vlogger Casey Neistat, who has nearly 1.2 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and also is the founder of Beme. Neistat, who posts daily videos about his everyday life, included a conversation with Franklyn in a video one day and received a huge response. He has since appeared in multiple other videos by Neistat.

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"He's a very nice guy, a very fun and open guy, and I feel very comfortable talking to him,'' Franklyn said about Neistat. "Most of my route is like that. The customers are great."

"He's definitely the kind of person where you see him on Beme, and you're like, 'I want to be friends with that guy,''' Neistat told TODAY.com. "You scratch the surface and you find this positive individual who works very hard in his career but at the same time has a family and is an incredibly relatable human being."

Both men are the fathers of two children and often talk about parenthood.

"He's such a social, magnetic personality,'' Neistat said. "I've always been drawn to Marlan. After including him in one of my vlogs for a few seconds, my audience responded so strongly just based on that magnetic personality. Every time I include him, I get a message that says, 'More Marlan.'''

Franklyn, who moved to New York City from the West Indies in 1996, also has been the beneficiary of the online community's generosity. He revealed to Neistat in a July video that he wasn't able to try Beme on his phone because he still had an old Blackberry that was incompatible with the app. A fan all the way in Belgium started an online fundraising campaign that netted its goal of $800 in three days to get Franklyn a new iPhone.

"This was very touching, very emotional to me,'' Franklyn said. "I have never had something done like that. I really do appreciate it."

Franklyn quickly became a frequent user of Beme, which allows users to shoot video from their point of view, with followers able to take selfies to show their reactions. Franklyn used it to give a glimpse into the different places he travels on his route every day as well as his life away from work.

"There's so many people and cultures on my route,'' he said. "It's really amazing around here."

It also allows his family to check up on how dad might be doing, mainly his 9-year-old son David.

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Hover Board Delivery Man

"My wife is a little more conservative, but my 9-year-old son is crazy about Casey's videos,'' Franklyn said. "My 14-year-old, he is kind of into other things, but David makes sure that he calls me in the evening when he gets home from school and always says, 'Dad how's work?' He's that kind of person."

Franklyn has also made sure that his newfound popularity hasn't affected getting everything delivered on time on his route. He said his bosses aren't aware of his slice of online fame.

"I understand the seriousness of my job and how important my job is, so I try to make sure that my job is first,'' he said. "My job can be very stressful, but I love it. I love meeting people and my job provides that conduit to meet people. I'm not going to allow (the online notoriety) to change the way I am."

He is now pondering getting his own camera and shooting videos himself. His feedback on Beme has been great from the start.

"In everything you have a little negative, but 99-plus percent has been a positive reaction,'' he said.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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