Thoughts from inside a box: Elevators and the Illusion of Control

LED elevator floor indicator

Image via Wikipedia

How long can one last without pushing a button?

While buttons are a means of control for a machine, not all the machines of today can be controlled instantly. Take elevator behavior as an example. How many times do we see people push the UP and DOWN button repeatedly? Whenever people do that, I always think that they actually believe that the elevator will move faster that way. We all know it cannot.

Do we take the little openings that appear as a way to take control of a situation, when in reality it cannot affect the outcome? Think of it as an addiction to exercises in futility. Take another form of elevator behavior as an example. While inside a public elevator, some people think of it as a means of personal conveyance. Whenever it hits a floor, they push the OPEN and CLOSE buttons to move things faster, sometimes without caring if someone is getting in or out. Not only is it rude behavior, it is also useless. Like, how many minutes can one save?

Face it. Whatever your reason to quickly get out of an elevator may be – really offensive BO or a nagging urge to release gas – you’re pretty much stuck in there, so suck it in.

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