Will Handshakes Survive Social Distancing? Comm Studies Professor Talks to Charlotte Observer


Social distancing has made the handshake or—gasp—a hug a thing of the past. But when people finally can return to getting closer than six feet, will these social greetings return as well?

Amanda Martinez, chair of communication studies and associate professor of communication studies and sociology, talked to the Charlotte Observer about the future of those greetings.

Martinez, who has taught classes in nonverbal communication, says the recent shift has underscored just how essential—and widespread—this kind of connection is.

“I’m hearing from a lot of students, and friends, and family members, that this is really challenging, because we didn’t realize the extent to which we just casually touch each other.”

Will it come back? Martinez says it depends on how long the pandemic era lasts.

If it ends relatively quickly, “It’s so ingrained in us to be social creatures that I really feel like we’ll bounce right back into it and be really happy about it. It’ll do a lot for our overall well-being—for our mental and emotional health—to be able to go back to the way things were.”

Read The Article in The Charlotte Observer


  • March 25, 2020