Handshakes: Unsanitary and Unnecessary

Under some circumstances I think a handshake is justified and serves a purpose. For example if representatives from two tribes came together to sign an agreement a handshake between them could serve as a symbol of cooperation and unity. Under circumstances like these I have no problem with the handshake, however where I do have a problem is when people, particularly people you don’t even know, feel the need to reach out their sweaty palm for a sturdy embrace of hands. What’s up with that?

What purpose does it serve to shake somebodies hand? Do people think that if they shake somebodies hand that that person becomes less likely to lie to or harm them? Do they think if they shake the hand of an admired or famous person that some of that persons traits will literally rub off on them and that they’ll increase their own chances of becoming famous? Has the average person even stopped and thought “Why do we shake hands, what are the benefits and what are the detriments?”?

Handshakes under normal circumstances are not only unnecessary they are also unsanitary. Just think about all the door handles and other things that person may have come into contact with just before shaking your hand. Perhaps they just finished blowing a runny nose or perhaps they’re just returning from the bathroom. Did they properly wash their hands? Did they even bother to wash their hands at all? Will you remember to wash yours before you touch your eyes, nose, or put food into your mouth?

Fortunately there are a number of far superior alternatives to the handshake for example people could simply make eye contact and nod, they could bow with their hands down as they do in Japan, or “wai” by placing their palms together, raising them up in front of ones face, and slightly bow as they do in Thailand. Furthermore If physical contact was desired a more sanitary fist bump could be used. In conclusion, I’m not trying to abolish the handshake entirely however I don’t think it should be overused like it is.