As a self proclaimed germaphobe, the handshake has been a long time nemesis of mine. I carefully eye up a potential handshake partner wondering where he’s been and what he’s been doing with his hands since his last shower. If you think about it, the hand is probably the least sanitary body part to intertwine with others. That’s the body part of choice with which we scratch, pick, wipe, rub and whack.
While fist bumping can sometimes have a negative stigma attached to it, it’s becoming more accepted and it's better than shaking hands — in that it transmits significantly fewer bacteria. At a time of global concern that our antibiotics are becoming obsolete, new research shows how fist bumping could save lives. The handshake exposes more than three times as much skin surface area as the fist bump, and the average contact time is 2.7 times longer. Ipso Facto… more bacteria is transmitted with the handshake. As many as 80% of individuals retain some disease-causing bacteria after washing. Almost no one washes their hands appropriately — you're supposed to scrub long enough to sing the alphabet song twice.
The fist bump – also commonly referred to as "dap, pound, fist pound, bro fist, spudding, fo' knucks, box, bust, pound dogg, props, bones, or respect knuckles" – is not only more sanitary than the traditional handshake, it can promote a stigma of bro-ness as well. If you think lobbying to replace the handshake with fist bumping as a flu-prevention strategy is an extreme overreaction, consider this - some people are actually going as far as advocating for an elbow tap. I don’t know if we need to go that far, but I’d be willing to give it a shot.
In the new world, the fist bump will be the formal gesture of gender-neutral respect.
AND SO IT SHALL BE WRITTEN!