This from today's New York Times:
"Girls embracing girls, girls embracing boys, boys embracing each other -- the hug has become the favorite social greeting when teenagers meet or part these days. Teachers joke about 'one hour' and 'six hour' hugs, saying that students hug one another all day as if they were separated for the entire summer."
The article, For Teenagers, Hello Means "How About a Hug?", explains the difficulty that schools have had "controlling" rampant hugging. It explains how some have imposed time limits on hugging, or even prohibited it altogether. But its most fascinating section postulates that the increase in hugging is a direct response to modern society's electronic isolation.
Of course, for us Jewish summer camp kids, hugging is nothing new. We've been at it for years and years, and I said "no duh!" when the article explained the inter-personal connection that hugging provides. Moreover, the idea of greeting my friends with a hug has become so commonplace to me (at least between Jews, and Bay Area residents) that I was surprised when the New York Times picked it up. I guess the east coast is a little different...