Check out this video of our bike riding adventure in Monterey, CA this past weekend. We headed down there to celebrate our 1 year anniversary and it was so awesome that I’m now too tired at work on Monday to even tell you all about it. That will have to happen some other time.
Today as I was leaving church I was sitting in my car checking my phone (see #5 below) and there was a tan Tahoe parked right next to me. The weather was amazing, so I had my window rolled down. I wanted to enjoy as much of the 75 degree sun before I made the drive back up to fog city, San Francisco where it’s usually about ten degrees cooler.
As I was getting ready to pull away I heard the doors to the Tahoe unlock as the person who owned it started walking my way. He was still about 100 feet from his truck and even though he probably heard his doors unlock the first time he pushed the button on his key fob he continued to hit it about 15 to 20 more times as he walked closer. After I heard the familiar noise of one door unlocking, then all doors, then one door unlocking, then all doors over and over again it got me thinking about all of the other buttons that we, as humans, push way too many times in our day-to-day lives.
As the guy in the Tahoe drove off I laughed to myself and started coming up with a list of other buttons that fall into this category and here are the five that I came up with. I’m sure that there are more than these five, so please feel free to add your own button pushing tendencies below in the comments.
1. Lock and unlock buttons on your car’s key fob
Just like the Tahoe guy that I described in the example above, we all seem to have some type of addiction or obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to pushing the buttons on our key fobs. I’m just as bad with this as anyone else and I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s the fact that when I hit the lock button on my key fob once, the doors just simply lock (which I can hear nearly every time I push it for the first time). But, when I push the button twice I get a nice, short honk just to let me know that, in fact without a doubt, my doors are locked.
We all love hearing that little honk, don’t we?
But, that’s never good enough. I then need to hit the lock button a few more times just to hear my car honk again and again, over and over. Heck, sometimes I even do a little dance to it (which Stephanie loves). Yeah, it’s that bad.
Of course, pushing the unlock button is sometimes just as bad, although that’s sometimes due to the fact that we have no idea where we parked and are too embarrassed to hit the panic button. So, instead we just keep on pushing unlock hoping to see our car’s lights flashing on and off.
Hey, I know I’m not the only one who does this.
2. All crosswalk buttons
Due to the fact that we don’t even really know whether or not these buttons actually do anything when we press them, we end up pressing them just that many more times. I honestly can’t ever remember one, single time when pushing a crosswalk button ever actually had anything to do with me crossing the street faster, but that never stops me from pushing it about 10 times a second.
I have a theory that these are just there to simply help us pass the time and to give us a feeling that we have some amount of control in the situation. Here in San Francisco they’ve even added a really cool noise every time you push one of these crosswalk buttons, which makes it even more fun to push, but no more helpful.
3. Elevator call and door close buttons
I know that this is actually talking about two different buttons, but since they are both associated with an elevator I felt like they belonged together.
An elevator call button is the thing that you hit incessantly when you’re wanting to go up or down on the elevator. These buttons are extra cool due to the fact that they will light up when you push them and depending on what floor you’re on, there are normally two of them available - one with an arrow up and one with an arrow down. How quickly and how many times you push one of these buttons is often dictated by how much of a hurry you’re in to get to where the elevator is going to take you.
If you’re in no rush you might only press the button a couple of times as you wait patiently for the elevator to arrive. But, if you happen to be in a hurry and depending on how many floors there are in the building, you could easily find yourself pushing the button up to 40 or 50 times. This amount of button pushing is very unhealthy, can be quite embarrassing and will only add unwanted anxiety to the situation.
Just like a crosswalk button, the door close button in an elevator is just another example of something that is made to make us feel like we have control over something when we actually don’t. I don’t care how many times I’ve hit a door close button in a elevator, the doors still close as slow as ever. Will I still hit the door close button the next time I’m in an elevator? Of course. But, that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.
4. Preset radio station buttons on your steering wheel
This one comes from personal experience as I’m always pushing these buttons way too many times. You all know what I’m talking about, right?
You usually have 6 preset stations saved on your car’s radio and the easiest, quickest way to flip through them is with the preset button (or buttons) that are so conveniently built into your steering wheel. You push the preset button until you hear something that you like and if for some reason nothing is sounding good to you, then what do you do? You keep on pushing the preset button hoping that the next time around (which is about 3 seconds later), something that you do like will magically appear on one of the stations. If nothing sounds good the second time around, then you usually repeat this process about 4 or 5 more times (or until you decide to play a CD, MP3 or hit the good ol’ scan button).
One rare, yet exciting situation that you might find yourself in is when you’re flipping through your presets and two of the stations are playing the exact same song at the same exact same time. This usually results in you pushing the preset button even more so that you can hear the same station playing the same song several times over and over again. I like to call this the ‘Double Whammy”.
5. Wake button on our cell phones
I don’t care if you own an iPhone, a Blackberry, a Droid or a Nokia whatever — we all check our cell phones way too much. This has resulted in us all getting into the habit of constantly pressing the wake button on our cell phones, which allows us to see if anything new has happened in the 5 seconds that has gone by it since the last time we checked.
Waiting in line at Starbucks? We push the button. Sitting at a stop light? We push the button. Taking a dump? We definitely push the button.
With so many notifications coming in all the time from Facebook, Twitter, email, texts and apps we have been trained by these phones to constantly check to see whether or not someone has commented on the photo we just uploaded or on the status we just updated. Of all the buttons that we push the most, I’m going to take a guess and say that this is the one that takes the top prize.
This is why I’ve started to learn that sometimes when I push this button I need to hold it down just a little bit longer so that instead of checking my phone, I’m turning it off completely (temporarily, of course).