Are you a “hugger”? You know what I mean. Some people are big huggers and some… not so much. I came from a family that was in the “not so much” category as it applied to physical affection. How about you? Here’s a test… if someone hugs you, who lets go first? It wasn’t until I was an adult that some of my friends started to win me over the huggy side of the fence. And you know what, I’ve never looked back.
My wife and I have always been super affectionate with our daughter. I recall reading studies that animals who were provided plenty of food, water and warmth, but no touching, grew weak and even died. Our daughter certainly is in no danger except perhaps from an overzealous hug. 😉 But what about us adults? Do we need hugs, too? I think the common wisdom says we do… that it affects our happiness and health, BUT…
We live in a world that’s increasingly distancing us from other people. Even without everything going on now, families live in other states or even countries. Even in the same house some spend increasing amounts of time online instead of together. So can friends, maybe even friends we’ve never met in person, contribute to our health and well being via social media? I I think they can. So here’s my question… do you hug online?
I do. On Facebook and Twitter when I notice someone seems to be having a rough day I take a moment to check in (via private message), ask how they are doing, and offer a hug. It goes both ways. Just yesterday one of my online friends sent me a *hug* via tweet. And you know what? It made me feel better! So I’m committed daily to trying to make a difference in at least a few peoples lives by caring and offering *hugs*.
Maybe it’s a small thing, but cumulatively I’ll bet if more and more people offered genuine caring positive thoughts and hugs, even if it’s just online via social media, that it will have a very real physiological and psychological effect. I’m no scientist, so I can’t back this up, but what do you think? It feels right, and certainly can’t hurt? And of course, picking up the phone, calling or face-timing would be better still?
For all of my dear friends online, some of whom I’ve never actually met in person, thank you for the difference you’ve made in my life. I like the idea that if our 12 year old must grow up in a world that’s increasingly disconnected physically, while super-connected technologically, that she’ll have an ongoing source of *hugs* when the day comes (I pray a very long time from now) when Daddy’s not there to give them to her.
So, even if it’s just ‘virtually’, go out an hug someone and tell them you care!