I’ve never liked making small talk. I used to hate when my parents would force my siblings and I to make random friends to hang out with on family vacations. Don’t even get me started on bumping into my parents’ friends when neither of them are there. Now that’s the worst. Over the years, I have found that there is one, and only one, solution that’s 100% effective to avoid making small talk- staring intently at my phone and pretending to aggressively text someone.

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I’m not the only one that has found this solution. In fact, it seems like everyone else has, too. Whenever I get into the elevator of my dorm with other people, almost everyone immediately whips out their phones.

Recently, I decided to stop using my phone in the elevator and just stand there. I’m not gonna lie- at first, it was reeaaaaally uncomfortable. The minute-long ride started feeling like hours. Some strangers smile and shyly say hi. Occasionally, someone compliments me on my shoes. Most people say absolutely nothing and (pretend to) aggressively text.

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So I decided to do a little experiment. See if my fellow elevator riders are actually insanely popular or are doing everything in their capacity to avoid making small talk. More often than not, it’s the latter (but seriously- shoutout to the few people with easily 30 texts. You’re killin’ it). This has to change. We’ve become too reliant on our 5” by 3” security blankets.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to have the most captivating conversations of my life in the elevator with complete strangers. But it’s not hard to just look up every once in awhile and say hi! We’re all going to be living with each other for another semester and it can’t hurt to have a few more familiar faces. Maybe the next time you get back from class you’ll meet your new best friend! Who knows?

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