The Elevator Culture Crisis

It’s 8:13 am. I, hyped up on my caffeinated coffee buzz, enthusiastically, jump into the elevator on a Thursday morning as if I am Arnold Schwarzenegger about to “terminate” the day’s adversities.

As soon as I leap into the metal contraption about to effortlessly carry me up to my floor, I noticed three adults in the cabin with me along for the ride. They were all looking down at their phone, not a single person made eye contact with me. Here we are, We all work in the same building, ride the same elevator, go home at nearly the same time, and yet we know nothing of each other.

Somehow, I immediately think about why this country is so politically divided. Perhaps some of the drama is hyped up and orchestrated by media outlets for profit or some other agenda. But what I couldn’t help and think about is,

  • why should I care to listen to anyone’s perspective if I don’t know them?
  • Why is it that some darn algorithm of a social media feed has the ability to block me from interacting with another human?
  • How powerful is said algorithm? Does it actually have the ability to lead and control the emotions of the people who consume it as some sort of parasite directing it’s host?  Examine all the people you know sharing drama on social media.

How can we, as a society, solve problems together if we aren’t even willing to say, “good morning” when we see each other in the elevator?

This got me thinking about a statement I once read about with the Amish (Please comment if you know the source).

I am paraphrasing here,

“It’s not that the Amish are not religiously opposed to modern luxuries like cars or the internet. For instance, the Amish see hospitals as a net benefit to society.  But with regards to cars, the Amish examine the effects of our creations on society using the average population as Guinea Pigs. After some time has passed, each community collectively decides on what they will introduce based on results they observe. As with the car, an Amish individual stated, the car allows you to directly go to the store and buy eggs with no help of your neighbor. Then the Amish guys asked, do you know your neighbor’s name?”.

As for me, I see the same people in the elevator every day at 8 am and then again at 5 pm. I know no one’s name. How about you?

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