12.14.2006

elevator sociology


elevator sociology is an interesting topic

no this is not a rant about how people should take the stairs if they are only traveling one flight up or two flights down
no... this is a rant about human interaction in the elevator

it is interesting
who set the rules?
why is it that when two people are in the elevator they can talk
but more than two must remain silent?
if the two people are talking and the elevator stops and a third person enters
the conversation ends
why?
why does the elevator have this set of conventions?

eye contact is often avoided
people stare blankly at the lights moving between the numbers above the door

and personal space
people in elevators are very concerned with personal space
the balance of the people in an elevator usually follows the patterns of dice or dominos
one person stands in the center
two people stand at opposing corners
three at a diagonal
and so on
and so on
until it reaches the 6 plus formation which moves from order to chaos

why is this so?

and
is it okay to talk about anything other than "the game" or "the weather" with a stranger on the elevator

when I used to snowboard I loved the chair lift
riding as a single and getting on a quad
it was cool to get a little conversation going with some of the other riders
getting past the where you from
or the basic annoying questions of the snowboard versus the ski
getting into people's heads
learning about others
learning about the world
I miss snowboarding far more than I miss the interaction on the chair
but..
I did enjoy the interaction on the chair

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