In the future, of course, there are no handshakes. Look at the great documentaries depicting the future: Star Trek, Star Wars, even Spaceballs… no one shakes hands.
Why do Americans handshake after a Boston real estate deal?
Did you know that the American hand-shake became popular because the Quakers thought it would be more welcoming than tipping a hat or bowing?
In America, it’s likely that the handshake’s popularity was propelled by 18th century Quakers. In their efforts to eschew the hierarchy and social rank, they found the handshake a more democratic form of greeting to the then-common bow, curtsy, or hat doffing. “In their place, Friends put the practice of the handshake, extended to everyone regardless of station, as we do still,” writes historian Michael Zuckerman.
COVID-19 will transform how we greet people
Today, of course, a handshake is often seen as a threat more than a welcoming form of greeting someone.
In addition to being a vector for disease transmission, handshakes reward a certain sort of powerful personality and penalize people who might be disabled. And judging people by the strength of their grip might make sense to the Quakers, but like horse buggies, it doesn’t make much sense anymore.
Until a month or two months ago, not sharing an outstretched hand was seen as odd and a bit insulting. Today, it comes across as understandable (when reminded).
This brings me back to my original thought: In the era of COVID-19 and beyond, will the Boston real estate handshake, or any business handshake for that matter, be a thing of the past like the horse and buggy.
Add with the rise of video calls (Zoom), there’s no way to conduct a handshake. Hat tipping or bowing might be making a comeback or simply a smile and a wave.
But what I really hope the new trend will be when closing a Boston real estate deal – Vulcan salute.
How does that Vulcan salute go?
I love the ending of this video clip.