An article in The New York Times today highlights the increasing tendency of teenagers to greet each other by hugging, to the bewilderment of their parents, who are more accustomed to handshakes. Not just limited to family, good friends, and lovers, hugging has become a standard way to say hi in high school hallways. There are even distinct varieties of hug:
There is the basic friend hug, probably the most popular, and the bear hug, of course. But now there is also the bear claw, when a boy embraces a girl awkwardly with his elbows poking out. There is the hug that starts with a high-five, then moves into a fist bump, followed by a slap on the back and an embrace. There’s the shake and lean; the hug from behind; and, the newest addition, the triple — any combination of three girls and boys hugging at once.
Does this signal that teenagers are seeking stronger physical connections, even as they descend deeper into their Facebooking, texting, OMGing and LMAOing?