There are a number of old sayings that declare this trait or that is a sure-bet reflection of a person’s character. Variations on this theme include: “You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep”, “The clothes make the man”, and “You can judge a person by their book covers”. Most of these adages are centuries, if not thousands of years old and most of us have heard them repeated since our earliest childhood. Whether or not such sentiments are a matter of training, self-fulfilling prophecy, or merely observation, I’ve no idea but while these clever little generalities are hardly fail-safe proof, there appears to be a universal tendency for people to unconsciously make snap judgments of others based on such accessible clues. Well, I’ve got new candidate to nominate as a suitable, superficial reflection of human personality in this first decade of the 21st Century: Computer Desktops!
Think about it. Or better yet, look around your office or dorm, classroom, or peep at the screen on the laptop of that guy sitting against the window next time you’re at Starbuck’s and tell me what you see. I believe you can learn a lot about a person’s temperament, dreams, priorities, habits, weaknesses, strengths, loves, and moods by (surreptitiously) checking in on the state of their desktop every once in a while. While I don’t advocate making snap judgments like this if you’re on a jury, are a cop, or parent of a teenager, or in any other situation that calls for more than speculation, still, developing the skill as a “Forensic Desktop Reader” could be the next big thing to show up as a TV series or be a great new career move. Whad’ya think?
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