So Tom, Ted and I went out to dinner the other night and had this really interesting conversation about the filter. It all started when we were talking about two of our favorite TV shows, Bones and The Mentalist. We get a kick out of the main characters because they're not quite normal in entertaining ways.
It all started to make sense when Ted described Bones as having no filter. She says exactly what's on her mind and she has no trouble talking about things most people consider private and she's confused when anyone is taken aback by her honesty because it all seems perfectly normal to her. Patrick Jane's filter is in polarity mode -- he's constantly trying to crack someone else's filter.
We decided that Ted's filter is stuck in auto-off mode. He'll go for days (or weeks) spending time alone or with close family... and the filter gradually shuts down because it's unnecessary. When he ventures back into the social scene, he needs to re-enable the filter or he's likely to step outside the bounds.
Tom's filter is always on and always set to high. Never make waves, never say or do anything to call attention to himself, always fade into the background.
I think my filter is pretty much like everyone else's. Just plain normal -- how utterly boring.