Life consists in what a person is thinking of all day.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recently I have been thinking about how what you are exposed to on a daily basis affects you. A number of seemingly trivial conversations started me down this train of thought. Because I write about computers and know more than the average bear about them, people have a tendency to tell me their computer woes. A refrain I hear a lot is that people really hate seeing some of the stuff that ends up in their e-mail in box. Sure, endless filtering and so forth help, but stuff you don't want inevitably gets through.
The thing is that, because of the way a lot of e-mail programs are set up, many people see a lot of images they'd rather avoid. Graphics fly around the Internet, so people (including young kids) with Internet access are being exposed to some really explicit and nasty stuff.
Even though I get a whole lot of unwanted e-mail, I never actually SEE any revolting pictures. People may think plain text e-mail is old-fashioned. But it has a big advantage. Pictures come in as an attachment. To me, it's worth it to lose the ability to format fonts in order to gain the ability to avoid viewing the unwanted pictures that may end up in my inbox.
It's my brain, and I know that what I see can affect how I think and feel. I don't want to see offensive and graphic images, so I take steps to make sure I don't. For the same reason, I can barely stand to even look over my husband's shoulder when he plays computer games. I don't want images from Half Life 2 in my consciousness.
I've got enough going on in my mind without adding in a bunch of blood and gore and guts. The world with all its wars and injustice is bad enough as it is. I certainly don't want to make my perceptions of it any worse than they already are.