Published on June 11th, 2013 | by Kelie Kyser2
Enjoy the Silence
The other day I subjected myself to an unorthodox social experiment. You see, I’m a bit of an emotional thrill seeker. So I purposely placed myself in an awkward situation – created a conundrum to shake up an otherwise monotonous encounter.
So what was this audacious act you ask?
I approached a group of seemingly important professionals amassed in front of the elevator of a 23 story building. I waited for the next empty car, entered and made EYE CONTACT with complete strangers! And the ride to the 23rd floor commenced.
Big deal you say, but here’s where it gets hairy.
I didn’t come equipped and therefore couldn’t use my cellphone to evade the forced meeting.
Of course we all know it is common courtesy to refrain from engaging in conversation on your phone in an elevator. But it’s second nature to automatically look down at your smartphone safety net (even if a dead screen meets your reflection) in order to avoid actual human contact. Be honest, when is the last time you rode an elevator and dodged this charade?
I’m happy to report no one was harmed during my field study conducted in the name of science. In fact, pleasantries were exchanged, I wasn’t as uncomfortable as I originally dreaded I would be, and I had the chance to think of a clever way to greet my lunch date.
That’s right, I actually had an opportunity to think without interruption and I live to tell of the occurrence!
Technology, for most of us, has become a social crutch. And the superficial art of appearing “busy” is for some strange reason universally recognized as a natural state of existence.
If you are ALWAYS busy, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are productive or successful. On the contrary, it may mean you have poor time management skills, you are a people pleaser that doesn’t create necessary boundaries, or you’re running from a problem and the chaos of “busy” eliminates your obligation to deal with the skeleton that has now become a full-fledged monster in the closet.
I dare you to try the elevator experiment. I bet you land on your feet.
Parroting the lyrics of one of my favorite songs from the 90’s “Enjoy the Silence”. And be at ease with your surroundings.
When was the last time you completely disconnected from technology in a social setting?