Evolution of elevator etiquette

It used to be you’d walk on an elevator and everyone else would dutifully ignore one another for no good reason other than that was the thing to do in an elevator.  (Oh, sure there was the occasional wise-guy who’d comment on his rash or stand facing the corner, but those are the exceptions.)  Nowadays, I notice that while the behavior goes largely unchanged, a reason for it has evolved.  Everyone is checking their BlackBerry/iPhone/Droid.  As soon as people walk onto an elevator, out comes the smart phone.  It provides a kind of digital camouflage, I suppose, the person wielding the device feeling invisible to everyone else in the car.

I must admit that when I walk onto an elevator, but gut reaction is to pull out my iPhone.  It’s almost innate, like pulling on my safety belt when getting into a car.  I do it without thinking.  I am trying to break this habit and walk into elevators without the need for a “digital smoke”, so to speak.  But it’s not easy.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

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