Friday, August 8, 2008

Jumping to Conclusions

It is common to make judgments about people based on appearance. Certain articles of clothing, and certain ways of dressing cause us to make assumptions about people, and we may react to them emotionally on that basis. For instance, while I’m not a particularly fastidious person, but when I see someone dressed sloppily, with torn dirty jeans and greasy hair, I tend to assume a degree of laziness in their character. Goth teenagers make me chuckle sadly over the pitiful irony of desperate attempts at emotional insurgency signified by their black and white demeanor. Too tight leopard print anything, especially when paired with excessively high heels…well, there it is.

I noticed today that this sort of thing is not limited to clothing. When someone shares their email address with me, and it is an @aol address, I also react emotionally. I find myself involuntarily assuming, with no other evidence or facts, that this person is in essence electronically illiterate, and really should not be allowed near a computer without a chaperone.

It may be that none of these assumptions are valid. But, then again…

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