The more you are around something and the more you are exposed to something; the more it tends to sink itself into your psyche as "normal". Influence. It has many names I guess, peer pressure is one. Take for instance the fact I am on a diet, and I know I shouldn't eat that friggin candy bar sitting in the kitchen. I should just throw it out to kill the temptation. But I don't. It's easy enough to fight off temptation the first few days. But damn if that candy bar doesn't look awfully good after about a week. "Oh, that candy bar can't be THAT bad for me so why not just a little taste...." before I know it it's gone! It's easy to convince yourself things are ok to do if you are exposed to it long enough. That thing just sitting there on my counter influences my thought process. Sure there's another part of me fuleing the fire (diet) but the candy bar tips the scales. Kinda like peer pressure when you're going through the teenage years. I was lucky enough not to have ever tried drugs but I had many friends that simply did it because everyone else did. Well, of course, it led them down paths they really never expected to venture down in life and many of them lived to regret it to this day (in various ways). Another example would be MP3s. I used to be a big proponent of MP3 (still am at a certain level). Well, I started a record label. Over the few years I had it...I really learned what the industry was talking about with declining sales. I still agree the majorsar egreedy and crooked as hell but even keeping them out of the picture and looking at the indies things have gotten really bad. At first sales were up, and I believe MP3 downloading helped as a marketing tool. As the years have passed, more people have gotten broadband, people (including myself) have become numb to the fact that we download the MP3s, but then things kinda stop there. Before I would be buying all the CDs I really liked when I downloaded the albums. Over time it just became the thing to do, download, like it, that's it. The buying part is slowly desolving. I actually stopped downloading albums because I didn't like what the experience had become. I do it here and there but nowhere near what I used to. I'd say 1-2 albums a month any more. I was actually EXCITED recently that I waited for the Priest and Kamelot albums to come out in the stores. I listened to the tracks they had out there as a single and that was pretty much it. Man what a rush it was going to the store to get those CDs. It was like the "old days"! Haha. Now, I will agree influence only goes so far based on the person. Take religion for example. There are so many levels of one's "faith". I am Christian. I am not perfect nor have ever stated to be. No Christian is but we all have many levels to our "Christianity" sadly. My thing with music is, I listen to most of what's out there, but when it comes to blasphemous lyrics/imagery I am immediately turned off to venture any further into that band's music. It's not that I won't like the music (such as Dimmu Borgir), but I am a lyrics guy. I like seeing/singing to what a band comes up with lyrically. The influence that their whole "thing" would have over me is something I don't want to experience. It's not that I am afraid I would all of a sudden wake up and discover, "Oh my, God isn't real!" or "I am so weak in my faith this music is sending me to Hell!" ... nothing like that. It's just that I choose not to kid myself or take my beliefs as a joke and delve into that style of music. We have beliefs for a reason, whatever they may be, and if you aren't confident enough in them to LIVE by them then why bother? I don't like to knowingly pick and choose which parts of God's word I choose to adhere to. I try my best to live according to me beliefs. That's notto say I immediately tune people out when they try to correct me or shed light on certain parts of the Bible or Christianity. I have learned new things I didn't know before because I choose to always listen. Anyways... What other examples of influence do you see out there and how is it affecting us, or, how do you view influence in your life?