The world is speeding up, there’s no getting around it, and as the pace of daily life gets quicker we expect everything in our lives to keep up. This isn’t always possible though. So what happens when something isn’t going as fast as we think it should be? We get annoyed.
One thing which we use on an almost a daily basis in our lives is lifts, and these are not renowned for being particularly quick. Especially if it’s a lift which has a lot of floors to visit and it’s one on its own (office blocks come to mind – twenty floors and one lift = long waiting times!). This can lead to “lift rage”; a disproportionate amount of anger directed at the, comparatively short (in the grand scheme of things), length of time which you need to wait.
This annoyance has been around pretty much ever since lifts were invented, but it became particularly noticeable in the post-World War II boom of high-rise building. Architects and designers needed to do something to stop high-rises losing favour, so they came up with the clever idea of putting mirrors next to lifts. The next time you go to use a lift, have a look and see if there’s a mirror nearby. There probably will be.
So why was it so effective? Because it gave people something to do while they were waiting. Time flies when you’re having fun…(or are occupied at least). The complaints about waiting times for lifts disappeared when the lift-mirror trend came in. With a mirror nearby those waiting to use the lift could busy themselves by checking their hair, or checking for skin blemishes, or sneakily looking at the people behind them.
Clever, no? Next time you go to use a lift, have a look to see if there’s a mirror nearby…