People don't touch each other anymore. At least not without dire risk. Especially if you are a physician.. Recently, a prepubescent little boy was suspended from school for trying to kiss a little girl. What distorted minds those so-called educators have! In my early days of family practice, when I was family physician to a large number of patients, in a relationship that is almost unimaginable today, people touched each other all the time. There was no salaciousness, no ulterior motive, nothing more than warmth, friendship. Patients sometimes patted me on the back, I sometimes laid a hand on a patients shoulder, there was never anything unwholesome about it. We shook hands, occasionally hugged and never thought twice about it. For reasons beyond my comprehension it all became perceived as being improper. Yes, there were always a few who took advantage of their fellow humans, be it financial, professional or sexual, but that should not throw lifelong patterns of human relations under the bus. When I was a schoolboy, boys in school frequently walked along with their arms around around the shoulders of their friends, without arousing suspicions of homosexuality, girls held hands without being suspected of being lesbians. When did all this change? And why? More importantly, does it matter? I think it does, because many studies have shown a definite relationship between growth and development and sensory stimulation or touch. Many animal studies have shown the same relationship. Numerous studies have shown mechanical sensory stimulation to stimulate growth and development in neonates who have been deprived of normal stimulation, such as incubated prematures. Introducing periods of stimulation to such infants and infants brought up in some orphanages where sensory stimulus is minimal results in improved growth and development.
In modern society most of the innocent touching and physical contact that was a sign of warmth and friendship and nothing else is viewed with suspicion and often with accusation. People have become cautious about touching other humans, even about intruding into their 'territory'. Most folks seem more comfortable in distancing their interactions, otherwise why would many people seem more comfortable broadcasting their personal and family affairs on facebook?
Touch and tactile cues, essential ingredients in relationships between human beings and many other life forms have become suspect.
Honi soit qui mal y pense.
I fear that relationships are going to become more distant, more meaningless and more narcissistic and privacy, almost non-existent, will soon not exist at all.
The decline continues. Don't forget to take your 'selfie' today!