Elevator Etiquette Still Exists

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
I live in a very nice apartment building, where you would think people would have some manners. When most people get on the elevator, they do not bother to say hello, and continue to look down at their phone. I especially expect people over age 30 to know better! I do not think people realize how wrong it is not to look at someone in the eye and acknowledge that you are sharing space with them, even if it is for 30 seconds. You can smile at someone and make their day, and even give them a compliment that they really need. Has “elevator etiquette” changed?

Dear Anonymous,
“Elevator etiquette” has not changed. In an elevator, walking down the street, getting on a subway or bus, we should not be looking at our phone. We need to greet people with a nod, smile, or a hello, before we look back down at our phone. When it comes to elevators specifically, I always size up people right away, and I try to determine how we would get along if we got stuck for any period of time. Personally I want the person I am sharing a space with to like me, just in case it comes down to a crisis. Basic etiquette such as hesitating before getting into an elevator so you can first let the people out is good to remember. Also ask what floor someone needs if you are closest to the buttons. Overall, we need to suspend looking at our phones for 30 seconds when in an elevator, and be cordial to the other people around us.