TODAY.AZ / Weird / Interesting

Young people wave goodbye to handshakes

27 January 2010 [18:42] - TODAY.AZ
From world leaders on the White House lawn to chaps at the bus stop, the common handshake is the universal greeting of peace and goodwill.
But youngsters are kissing goodbye to traditional social etiquette, killing off the handshake, researchers say.

The custom – which originates from medieval knights showing they were unarmed – is seen as too formal and even unhygienic by many, who prefer to touch fists or smack an air kiss instead.

Nearly 74 per cent of adults shake hands less than they used to – and only 45 per cent of under-25s use the greeting. But many prefer no physical contact at all, a side-effect of growing paranoia about bugs, germs and hygiene, according to the survey of 1,000 people for, ahem, hand wash brand Carex.

Two thirds of people said health fears played a part in their reluctance to shake hands. ‘In our past, touch was the foundation of families and civilised coexistence,’ said psychologist Dr David Holmes.

‘As a type of ritualised touching, the handshake is one of the most powerful and it can leave a lasting impression.’


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