I know this is really random, but as I get older and interact with more people, I find myself opting for the fist bump more and more. At first it was just because I found it more comfortable, but as I kept doing it, I realized it’s far more than that now–I believe it should replace the handshake altogether. Here are the reasons:
Is it a handshake? Is it a wave? Is it a high-five? Is it a “gangsta” angled-highfive into chestbump thing? Truth is, there are already too many greetings that use an open-handed approach. It’s obvious that it’s time to move on, and the only thing you can mistake a fistbump for is an act of violence, and when you realize it isn’t, you can safely proceed to finish the bump.
- Varying Styles
With the handshake, you’re confined to just the right hand-to-right hand or left hand-to-left hand, but the fist bump is not so confined. There’s a limitless number of ways you can fist bump someone–it doesn’t just have to be one-handed to one-handed. Behind the back, over the shoulder, between the legs…your only limit is your imagination.
- Formality (or more generously, “atmosphere-changing”)
While I wouldn’t recommend fist bumping your, say, future mother-in-law (unless she’s super duper hip), there’s something to be noted about how a fist bump diffuses tension in professional settings. Sure, it doesn’t exactly bring you up to their level of professionalism, but it does show that you’re comfortable where you are, even if you aren’t. But use discretion when you’re meeting someone for the first time. Make a judgement call, because it’ll always be a gamble. It also makes old people feel young, like they don’t usually deserve to receive fist bumps or something. It’s weird.
Fourth, and perhaps most important, is that a fist bump is much cleaner than a handshake. The palm of your hand is absolutely disgusting. It’s constantly touching things like your phone (when was the last time you sanitized that?) and your hair and your keyboard and ugh. When you shake somebody’s hand, you’re basically saying, “here, have all the filth I’ve accumulated on my skin since the last time I washed my hands.” Hopefully the person you just shook hands with isn’t carrying any disease, or else you’ll certainly be getting it yourself.
There have actually been studies on the cleanliness of handshakes vs. fist bumps. If you don’t believe me, go look them up yourself. In your search, you’ll also find a bunch of articles saying the same thing that I am right now.
- Perfectly awkward
Without a doubt, my favorite part about fist bumping someone is seeing how people react when I offer them one when they’re not expecting it. Usually it’s some combination between fear and an awkward smile. It’s even better when you both raise your arms and the other person is expecting some other sort of greeting. I find that the results are more amusing than I care to admit.
tl;dr: read the bold words above.
So go ahead, go out and start using the fist bump in place of the handshake, and see if I’m wrong. I’m here to change the culture of the world one fist bump at a time. [other closing words here]
Can’t help but notice that journalism is moving away from text articles and lists and to video instead. Next blog post idea?