Why do we hug?
What magic does a hug have?
What does it provide us with?
Is it contagious?
For me a hug represents a unique and special communication between human beings. Next to music and song, I would put it on the top of the list. According to Wikipedia “a hug is a form of physical intimacy, not necessarily sexual, that usually involves closing or holding the arms around another person or group of persons. The hug is one of the most common human signs of love and affection.”
We all do it – some more than most. It is an invasion of personal space – the touching of human flesh – so this could pose a problem unless we’re hugging those we feel closest to. However, it is interesting that we can embrace the idea of a hug from a virtual stranger — i.e. Mr. David Archuleta — with a great deal of anticipation. Some might say, well I know him, but in reality we just know OF him and we can only make inferences as to who we think he really is.
In trying to answer the questions above, how does the anticipation of a hug from David measure up to the following analysis:
From the scientific to the ‘ridiculous’ to the sublime
Exhibit A: Consider this passage from the following article from Psychology Today entitled “The Moral Molecule – Handshake or Hug? Why We Touch”
“Touch needs to be freely given and accepted to have a positive effect.” √
But “why do we even have this ritual where with nearly everyone we meet we must touch our palms together? True, in some Latin cultures, the handshake is replaced with a kiss or two. But isn’t that really intimate for people who are just friends? Why all this touching?”
Apparently there is a scientific basis for this. In a nutshell, a touch — be it a handshake, massage, or hug — stimulates the brain to release the neurochemical Oxytocin – but only after one has received a signal of trust. This explains why it must be freely given. √√
Not so surprising is the fact that women are more susceptible to the effect of touch, so scientifically speaking, poor David doesn’t stand a chance in trying to avoid some kind of physical contact with his female fans.
Interestingly as well, the release of Oxytocin increases the chances that a person will treat the “huggee” like family even if you’ve just met him, um, them. √
Hmmm, this might provide David with an indisputable explanation as to why everyone wants to hug him and some ODD fans want to take him home and “adopt” him.
Yes, indeed, there is a website called Hugology. On their home page the title reads:
“The Science and Psychology of Therapeutic Touch” (In my limited foray on this website I saw next to nothing scientific, lol)
“What’s in it for me??? Hugging is healthy!
It helps the body’s immune system, cures depression, induces sleep, it’s invigorating, it’s rejuvenating, it has no unpleasant side effects, uses energy so you lose weight and hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug! Hugging is all natural. It is organic, naturally sweet, no pesticides, no artificial ingredient, I’ve never heard of an allergy to affection and they are 100% wholesome.”
How can it be sleep inducing and invigorating at the same time? And, as for weight loss, depression and effect on the body’s immune system, more research needs to be done – oops we are in the ‘ridiculous’ section of this article, lol. But, as to the rest of the paragraph √√√√√√ and √
This campaign has David written all over it – so let me make it bigger. √
Another Wikipedia moment:
“The Free Hugs Campaign is a social movement involving individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public places… The hugs are meant to be random acts of kindness – selfless acts performed just to make others feel better.”
An excerpt from the Free Hugs Official Website:
How it all started:
I’d been living in London when my world turned upside down and I’d had to come home. By the time my plane landed back in Sydney, all I had left was a carryon bag full of clothes and a world of troubles. No one to welcome me back, no place to call home. I was a tourist in my hometown.
Standing there in the arrivals terminal, watching other passengers meeting their waiting friends and family, with open arms and smiling faces, hugging and laughing together, I wanted someone out there to be waiting for me. To be happy to see me. To smile at me. To hug me.
So I got some cardboard and a marker and made a sign. I found the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city and held that sign aloft, with the words “Free Hugs” on both sides.
And for 15 minutes, people just stared right through me. The first person, who stopped, tapped me on the shoulder and told me how her dog had just died that morning. How that morning had been the one year anniversary of her only daughter dying in a car accident. How what she needed now, when she felt most alone in the world, was a hug. I got down on one knee, we put our arms around each other and when we parted, she was smiling.
Everyone has problems and for sure mine haven’t compared. But to see someone who was once frowning, smile even for a moment is worth it every time.
The Campaign became famous internationally in 2006 as the result of a music video on You Tube. This video has almost 63,000,000 views to date. International Free Hugs Day is celebrated on the first Saturday of July. For inspiration watch this Free Hugs Campaign video taken in Toronto in July 2009.
Questions answered? All accept the last one.
Is it contagious? √ (I didn’t find anything in my websearch except ‘Hug Me… I am NOT Contagious’ so I took it upon myself to place the check mark there. 🙂 )
I think the real question we might want to ask ourselves is:
Why do we want to give a hug to or get a hug from David Archuleta?
Can I answer the question with more questions? 🙂
1. Is it to get confirmation that he is really real?
2. Do we want to feel connected to him somehow?
3. Could it be to return something to him – to thank him?
Honestly I cannot answer any of the above regarding a David hug, though that won’t stop me from wanting one.