Starting out a third year with Cheating June (woo hoo!), I’d like to start with a complex look at a seemingly simple sense. Today’s culture and community puts a hefty amount of emphasis on rhetoric, but many times, other pathways of communication can be just as, or even more powerful. Now that we’ve explored body language and olfactory properties, I’d like to delve into the ever growing field of tactile sciences. Let’s find the potential untapped resources we have in improving cognitive abilities, relationships, and emotions through touch.
Aside from the more obvious implications of how we relate to others through touch, tactile sciences have recently been related to sound, compassion, happiness, learning, and retention. As one of the oldest senses known to man, biologically speaking, learning how to harness the power of touch could be key to ourselves and our communities. .
If we are anything like the typical American, we have a long way in meeting that goal, because we are less comfortable with incorporating touch in our lives. One recent study videotaped people in various cultures having conversations with their friends for a set amount of time. Those in England didn’t touch at all. In the US, we edged them out with a whopping average of two touches per conversation. In Puerto Rico, however, the average number of times friends touched each other was 180. Whatever this implies about our respective cultures, the least we can say is that Americans have a lot to learn about touch.
If you want to follow along on all the background info behind my posts, I’m highlighting the researchers, authors, and source videos in each article. In the meantime, do a little self evaluation and notice how often you and your friends touch in conversation and how comfortable you feel with it.