What is it about silence between two persons in an elevator that require one person to have to look over to the other and comment on the weather? Why the weather? Why bother? It’s a miserable topic of discussion most of the year and, besides, there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. So why justify it with a vacuous discussion? Afterall, if one person feels compelled to alleviate the discomfort s(he)’s feeling of being momentarily in closed movement with another (supposed stranger or neighbor) then why not shake it up a bit and talk about politics or current events, religion or gay marriage?
In our media age of soundbite storytelling, there are so many other things to discuss in those few quick moments going up, down or simply waiting between floors. But then, come to analyzing it, can we be 100 per cent sure that talking about the weather is indeed a neutral topic? I think it safe to assume that more people prefer sunshine and warm days over dark, windy, cold days.
Temperature and seasonal changes affect greatly our moods, our desires, our energy levels, and sometimes even our chemical balances. With all these residual effects, talking about the weather can actually stir contention. So in fact, next time be careful about chatting someone up in the elevator with whom you really feel no connection but simply a restlessness to say something; it could put you in an awkward, unsought situation.
On a personal note, I love the sound of silence and its din of almost nothingness. But then again, I rarely ever experience it except when I’m all alone in the elevator. The nature of humans is such that our wiring will continue to allow useless chatter of others to replace the relaxing sound of elevator silence in a shared communal space. What’s there really to say except that we all just have to deal with it, rain or shine.