Won't Somebody Give Me A Hug... PLEASE!

03/22/2014 08:41 am ET | Updated May 22, 2014

The Digital Age has me distraught. I spend so little "face time" with the people I care most about. Texting is the mot du jour. Bah -- Humbug!

We seem to live in a world where the motto is "neither a hugger nor huggee be."

A quick Mind Acrobatics™ exercise to start us off.

"Ain't I Grand!"

  • Stand in front of a mirror.
  • As you gaze at yourself think about all your wonderful qualities.
  • Wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze tight.
  • Hold for ten seconds.
  • Repeat as needed throughout the day.

As a little boy I recall the precise moment my Dad gave me an AM transistor radio and the big hug that accompanied it. What a thrill!

I was the first of my friends in 1984 to purchase an IBM desk top computer, complete with 12 inch monitor and a huge 256kb hard drive... all for the ridiculously low MSRP of $5,000.00.

My sister arranged a 50% discount and more hugs were shared.

1985 saw me dragging my very patient girlfriend into New York City where all the major electronic stores were located. $1,700.00 later I had a Ricoh facsimile machine, 6 rolls of fax paper and delivered a huge hug to this wonderful woman who endured seven hours traipsing around the city.

In 1987 she departed for greener pastures.

Thanks to the creation of sophisticated search engines, in 2007 I found her e-maiI address and could have connected sending some sort of visual hug symbol. I don't think she or her husband would have approved and it wouldn't have done much for me either.

According to chatslang.com there are a variety of virtual methods to communicate hugging. Via e-mail and texting I may send any of the following: { }, ( { } ), { }, :) X, (hug) and finally ((( H ))). These symbols represent a range from "arms around" to "bear hug." In fact, using Skype and typing (hug) will apparently generate a cute little bear emoticon.

Nuh, Uh! Not for me. Firstly, I can't keep them all straight and I might accidentally send the wrong level of hug... and then there's the issue of tactile senses.

As a former elementary school teacher I spent a lot of time dealing with tactile sensory processing. It's a major issue today in the understanding of Autism, Sensory Integration and other challenges.

Human touch is so important. There is nothing like a hug!

As we spend less and less physical time with those who mean so much to us, finding a way to ensure the survival of the hug is paramount!

So, after 50+ years on planet Earth I've decided to make a contribution. It's in the form of a request.

I'm reaching out via the progressive Huffington Post to all brilliant minds. Please develop a virtual hug that can actually be experienced on something other than an intellectual or metaphysical plane?

I'd do it myself, but I'm not a technical guy! Ideas are my thing:)

Heck, we put a man on the Moon and have visited Mars in my lifetime. Is it inconceivable to create a visual virtual or is it virtual visual that will give the physical sensation of being hugged?

Having a Luddite/humanistic personality I really don't want my request met.

What I'd like is for everyone to remember how great real hugs are! To a large extent, despite the digital era it's really a mind over matter issue. Call it mindfulness, awareness, living in the moment or whatever you prefer.

Use it or lose it they say.

Parents: mornings are hectic and often fraught with bickering and prodding to "hurry up," "get dressed," "eat all your breakfast," "did you brush your teeth," "I've got to get to work..."

When you send the kids off to school are you forgetting to give them a big squeeze? Even your adolescents... as long as it's at home. They may protest, but deep down most like 'feeling the loving.' You'll know if they don't which should be a cue worth thinking about.

Rushed schedules often interfere with remembering the importance of the outward expression of our caring. We simply assume our loved ones perceive it. You'd be surprised how many people don't feel loved.

A hug is so easy and intrinsically rewarding.

We are even losing the "art of hugging." I see lots of what I consider halfhearted hugs. They are often quick, semi-embraces. People seem to be afraid of being too physical.

How many people do you know who give a great big happy bear hug every time you see them? Not enough I'm willing to bet!

I have many women friends who adore all encompassing hugs. I'd probably rate a B with them. My former brother-in-law who passed away far too young would have received an A+ in that category. He'd greet my Mom and Dad with a huge hug and they loved it!

The art of hugging is not a male-female issue. Hugs are hugs and should be shared by all regardless of sex and sexual orientation.

Hugging is a lot like performing volunteer work. Often the hugger gets much more from the experience than the huggee!

The one seeming contradiction in all this... teens are embracing hugging as a cursory form of greeting each other when they meet in person. Now as for hugging family that's a different story:)

As adults we share the responsibility of ensuring that the old fashioned, meaningful emotion communicating hug doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

Bottom Line: Don't let texting or iPhone and Android video apps become the 21st Century standard of sharing the loving.

Hug your child, your parent, any relative or friend who needs one, your pet and most of all hug yourself.

You deserve it! { }, ( { } ), { }, :) X, (hug) & ((( H ))).

Excerpted from the forthcoming Novella: "Save The Last Hug For Me!" by Dave Kanegis

Follow Dave Kanegis on Facebook Mind Acrobatics™

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