push buttons are fascinating

I’m sitting here absolutely fascinated by the tab button on my keyboard. You push it down and it pops back up. It’s like a five-year-old being entertained by all the buttons at museum exhibits. What is it with our fascination of push buttons? We just love to push them.

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laura k.
laura k.
17 years ago

….don’t you have some actual work to do?

Tom Saaristo
17 years ago

I think our fascination with button pushing isn’t so much about the act of pushing the button rather our anticipation of what the result of pushing the button will be. Your tab key might fascinate on the simplest of levels, that is the button pops back up. On a vending machine, pushing a button puts mechanics into motion that ultimately deliver a product. On a pinball machine, pushing a button activates a flipper. In an elevator, pushing the button makes the elevator move. What is the psychology behind pushing an elevator button that has already been pushed? Do we feel so denied from engaging the elevator that we can get pleasure from pushing an already pushed button?

Tom Saaristo
17 years ago

That’s why I only push all the buttons above or below [depending on whether I’m going up or down”> my floor. Then I get the joy of pressing, though not all, a bunch of buttons without the effect of having to visit all those floors. I wonder if pushing all of the elevator buttons is related to pushing buttons, or more likely related to just being devilish.

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