Placebo Buttons: How You’re Being ‘Pacified’ Daily in Michigan
Picture this: You are already late for work because some jerk was driving 10 mph in the passing lane as you race towards the door of your building. You may have spilled your coffee and your donut leaked raspberry filling on your white shirt but, looks like you've caught a break because there is an empty elevator waiting there for you.
You step inside, press the button for your floor, then the 'Close Door' button to speed the process along. Here's the rub though, that button is just for show.
Why Michigan's Elevators Have a Faulty 'Closed Door' Button
To be fair not ALL Michigan elevators even have a 'Close Door' button anymore. In 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was rolled out to make our country more inclusive. Part of the inclusivity involved evening the playing field for catching the elevator. Now all elevators must wait for at least 3 seconds before closing.
Chances are, knowing that the button doesn't work, you'll still push it. The doors may close after, but more than likely that's just a coincidence. Much like when you approach the elevator and the 'UP' button is already lit up, but you press it again just to make sure.
Where You Can You Find Placebo Buttons in Michigan
This type of ploy, giving riders the 'perceived sense of control' is considered a 'Placebo Button' and they aren't the only ones in the state of Michigan. Do you really think that the crosswalk button works? What about that thermostat in the office, do you really think you're adjusting the temperature?
Part of me wonders if there is a camera pointed at any or all of these and, if so, is there at least one person or a whole crew that gathers together daily to watch as people press buttons repeatedly, presuming they are actually doing something? I guess what I'm asking is: Can I watch too? I'll bring popcorn.