Should Elevators Shame Us Into Taking The Stairs?

from the one-idea dept

johnjac points us to a blog post from Samuel Arbesman, about how he's always wished that elevators would shame people who only are going one or two floors into taking the stairs instead. He starts out by noting his anger at getting into an elevator to travel many floors, only to have someone else get in and press one flight up (I have to admit, I never realized this was a cause for anger). His suggestion is a form of public shame in the elevator:
But what if there were a way to eliminate this problem, or at least reduce it? One solution that I have often yearned for is the use of public shame. Imagine you get on at the first floor and press the button for the second floor. The elevator responds with a recorded message: "You have pressed the button for a floor that is only one flight away. Please press the button again to confirm that you cannot use the stairs."

If you're carrying a package, having trouble walking, or any other socially acceptable reason, no doubt the other passengers will think nothing of you pressing the button again to confirm your selection. However, if you are in fact an able-bodied human being, who is using the elevator out of nothing but sheer laziness, perhaps public shame will force you to reconsider your choice. And if you're the only one on the elevator, press away!
As I said, I was never aware that this was considered a "problem," but I can't see the shaming elevator being particularly effective. If anything I would imagine it would annoy more people as they now have to wait longer for the elevator to even begin its journey.

Filed Under: elevators, shame, stairs

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  1. identicon
    Bobby, 2 Jun 2017 @ 11:42am

    I did not see any comments about the high danger of stairs. 2000 people a year die in the US from stair accidents. Elevators kill only 6 people, excuding elevator repairmen. Smart people use the elevator and get exercise in other manners.

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