Drugs Not Hugs


Maybe you're a high functioning autistic?
This is terrible. The Emos have won...
I wonder how kids feel about being pressured to participate in the 'Day of Silence'?
wow, the kids are alright.

and now i know what the fuck is wrong with you.
I read this article today and thought it strange. Hugging? Really?
Yeah, overly-huggy people and their personal space issues are distressing, but this is kind of oddly sweet for a teenage trend article. Usually they're designed to be horrific and scary and send parents into paroxyms of terror about no-adults vacations/sexting/inner city underage crystal meth use/adolescent girls blowing people at the mall for cash in order to buy stuff at the mall. Hugging as a trend is kind of threat-free.
My favorite quote from a school admin: "It was needless hugging...It was happening all day."

Oh, the humanity!!
I blame Entourage.
This is surprising, coming from someone who advocates for the type of stuff Mr Savage does. I agree with him (once more) on this though. Embracing should be left for one's family, spouse. Schools need to be doing a better job in the teaching business and not in social experimentation.
I blame E.

(Hugs + Drugs! Yay!)
I use hugs to show I actually like a person, since with everyone else I almost always smile to be neighborly. Of course it takes usually a year or so of regular hangery [sic] for that to happen, and it's usually only with girls (I love them so). Alcohol may cause premature hugs.

But you will totally know if I hate you. I pride myself with my hateful body language. Most people suck at it (middle finger, eye-roll, combo with a sigh).
@7. Yeah, I think that's a pretty common attitude. My former school actually banned hugging and other 'deliberate sustained physical contact'.
What do you when you're in continental Europe and end up cheek-*kissing* mere acquaintances, and sometimes strangers? There's just no polite way to get out of that.

I see hugging as quite innocuous by comparison.
Well, I think it's cute.

I'm not militantly pro-hug (I don't really care either way), but the strength of your aversion does seem a little Rain Man-ish.
Eh. Some people are into hugging, some aren't. Some people aren't into cars, or drugs, or booze, or dressing up all kinky and being bound and gagged and left to squirm around on the floor for hours on end. To each their own.
I found this trend so sweet, like abolishing some boundaries.I like the knitting of a togetherness in a world that lacks some warmth. Kuddos for the kids. BTW, they are not hugging strangers but people who they met on a daily basis, and yes i send many hugs through facebook. But, in Greece and the eastern mediterranean it is acceptable and normal.
Dan you are acting like loveschild in this matter you are judging through your eyes and your experience but nor through the younger generation... is it a sign that you are growing old????. hahahaha
Hugging is more intimate that say, 'cheek' or 'air' kissing someone in meeting.

A hug generally brings the two bodies in contact, and usually involves the arms of one encircling or otherwise restraining (albeit brief and 'non-threatening') the other.

It is understandable that some folks wish to refrain from hugging anyone except those that they are the closest to/have high levels of trust around.

Though, I'm probably closer to Mr. Poe's model on hugging, but still I understand where Dan is coming from.
When I moved to the East Coast, I found that hugging was quite common, and sometimes the cheek kiss, even from strangers. I just think its one more way America is catching up to the about displays of affection.
Hugging is just the "gateway" to increasingly more serious forms of physical contact. Everybody knows that.

If you don't nip all this gratuitous embracing "in the bud", the next thing, all these kids will be locking arms as they walk down the hallways, giving each other neck massages between classes, lightly touching the forearm as they sit across from each other in the cafeteria - I could go on, but it just gets worse from there.

Don't let this happen in YOUR school. Start a chapter of H.A.R.E. today, and give your kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in innocuous interpersonal social contact.
I'm not a fan of hugging strangers (like those damn kids with their FREE HUGS signs), but I tend to hug friends goodbye. The only thing I thought was really weird when I read the article is that one of the moms said that the hugs are there in place of verbal communication.
you guys that are saying it's sweet or common or what-have-you clearly aren't spending time IN high schools. it's fucking miserable to get through hallways with idiots hugging in the middle of them. and it's not just once in a while, or when they're not going to see eachother. it's day after day, like dozens of them, for no reason. they don't even move to the side!
No, it's a hang-up. No pro-hug bias needed to call you on that one, Dan.
i'd rather them hug than knife or shoot each other.
Dan, you need to watch some Oprah to learn the various hug deflections she uses. I think her favorite is to hold out her hands and grasp the incoming hugger's hands before they get to her, then raise them high and shake them in a victorious way.
Maybe it's just the hippie town I grew up in (WOO! ASHLAND!), but we all did this in high school in the 90s. Maybe we were just awesome trendsetters down south, or maybe it was all the Theatre in the air, but this seems to be old news.
My favorite was the mother of a teenager, saying:

"Witnessing this interaction always makes me feel like I am a tourist in a country where I do not know the customs and cannot speak the language.”

Golly, it makes her sound just like... the mother of a teenager.

I'm not much into hugging total strangers and casual acquaintances. But this ranks pretty low on the list of potentially harmful behaviors. I'd be more appalled by wanton fingernail clipping in the hallways. The article is largely a waste of ink.
Wish this was the way things were back in my day - I got harassed for being 'gay' due to my hugginess. Gave it up, and never have gotten it back. People suck.
dan, i asked you for a hug when i was like sixteen or seventeen (my peers and i also hugged all the time in high school) at some stranger event and you were so polite about refusing me that i didn't even feel stupid or embarrassed. you were like, i swear it's not you, i just don't do that, ask any of these guys. but you did sorta put an arm around me and i thought you were so rad. i feel bad now that i asked for such a ridiculously personal thing but i was a teenager and you seemed like a rock star. thanks for not being a douche about it.
i step out of my own bubble to touch people all the time but nobody'd better step in to it without an invitation or i short circuit.
Awesome sweet trend. I love that the boys are comfortable hugging each other. I also love that young people are creating a much less uptight culture for us. We need this.
Hey Dan, I think its your Midwest upbringing. Living in Seattle has made me a compulsive hug-as-greeting type to (with friends, not strangers) but I noticed when I went back to Madison for a relative's funeral it's for immediate family only. Even a lot of my male cousins still did the handshake.
So, Dan, you are incapable of enjoying a hug with a casual acquaintence?

It's a preference if it's something you choose. In your case, it sounds like hugging triggers a reflexive, negative emotional reaction. That would make it a hangup.

The one that throws me (and seems to be a trend reserved for gays, and perhaps only bears at that) is the goodbye peck on the lips... I never know when to do it, or with whom, so I usually end up avoiding it unless the other person initiates it.
Seattle is a very huggy city. Everywhere else, people just try to shake my hand.
@25 -- I agree with you. Why is this listed as some new trend? When I was teaching in high schools in the 90s, we had to break up kids constantly and give sexual harassment seminars to all the kids. It was annoying then, and would be even more annoying now.

Please also note how the non-huggers are branded as curmudgeons. Sorry y'alls --- just protecting my goods. Now BACK OFF.

I'm with Dan on this. A nod or handshake is enough unless you're family or close friend. I also hate bank tellers or waiters who call me by my first name simply because they looked at my credit card....
Why, you cold hearted son of a bitch.
At least they're not shooting each other.
I wonder if this is connected to the fact that it's virtually illegal for an adult to hug a child in an institutional setting now, and male teachers in fact receive training on the proper deployment of the "side hug" and other ways to deflect the attentions of children they come into contact with?
GO HUGGERS GO! fuck the hall monitors! fuck dan and the others who say 'a nod is enough'.

and yeah, the hugging in the 90's was all E. straight up. but i sense that this is straight up huggin'.

fuck yeah.

Well, it's sweet & may be harmless, but I like my personal space, & am glad we weren't huggy when I was in high school. I like to hug, but you better have a clear invitation before getting into my 18" radius. I share the aversion to just being force-hugged, or expecting to hug, when an embrace doesn't just happen. Awwwwwwkward. I had a Northeast upbringing though, maybe we're just less huggy than West cost area folks.
The next generation will solve our problems. More power to these kids!
I'm a hugger, but teens are hugging each other with the "I just heard you just heard your best friend just died" hug multiple times a day.

When I was a kid, such occasions were limited (about once a year, usually not long after somebody acquired a drivers license).

And "FREE HUGS"? Creeps me out.
You're not cool unless you're hugging people, EVERYONE'S DOING IT THAT MEANS IT'S OK!

Don't people know hugs are the leading cause of swine flu?
That's how my friends were in high school. Big smooshy hugs were standard daily greetings.

Of course, we were a bunch of freaks/nerds/faggots in an itty bitty small-town hick-infested school, so we kinda NEEDED hugs.
I always feel awkward when I'm hanging out with my boyfriend's friends and he hugs them goodbye and I just kind of stand there... sorry but we're just not at that level.
it's a power thing. you surrender your power when you're hugged 'cause you're vulnerable. also, if you've been reading dan's columns for the past 10 or 15 years, you'd find out he doesn't like most people, which fits in with not hugging. so if dan doesn't hug you, it's because he doesn't like most people and wants to keep his personal power. i've met him several times and never held his hugging preference against him. actually, i'm quite surprised he even TALKS to me, as i am fat.
I think it is sweet that teens want to hug, if that is what they really feel led to do. I'm not big into hugging people I don't know very well, I'd rather shake hands. I try and be gentle when extracting myself from those who don't ask first, and to those who ask, I take their body language and the expression in their eyes into account before answering. There are times to hug, not because you desire it, but because the other person needs it. And, in those times, I'd rather surrender my personal comfort and hug someone than leave them hurting. It comes with the territory of loving ones neighbor as oneself.
As somebody who went to a very hug-intensive middle school I can totally identify with the "hugging peer-pressure" issue. It takes a form of affection and renders it so ubiquitous that it becomes insincere. I hated being forced into it, especially several times a day. I'm only recently learning to feel comfortable hugging non-relatives again.
Hugging is fine in theory, but in my experience lots of people just don't know how to hug responsibly. I'm a short dude with glasses. Most times when someone comes in to hug me they get their angles all wrong and mash my glasses into my face with their shoulder. Awkward, slightly painful. I would pay good money for some kind of electric-shock hug-prevention device I could wear about my person.