The Art of The Virtual “Smudgy Hug”

Humans are social beings.  We crave human-to-human contact.  Even as machines and technology take over more and more aspects of our lives, we try our best to humanize them.

Think of our phones.  We give them names, voices and mannerisms.  We dress them.  We play with them.  We share our lives with them.  Why?  Because, even though they are mechanical, temperamental and more than a little stiff, they are our connection and lifeline to other humans.

Think of our social media.  We love the ability to share our lives and our perspectives with others over great distances. Sure there are times when that distance can feel like a good thing, but most of the time we try to bridge the gap and make our virtual lives more real.  We add pictures of ourselves and the things we love.  We add “emoticons” to cue others to our emotional state.   We even try to wrap our words in the warmth of (((Hugs))) and XXX’s.  But we still come up short.

In real life (IRL) a hug of only a few seconds can give significant benefits that can linger for hours.  Hugging:

Creates social bonds
Shares a sense of well-being and happiness
Soothes fears
Decreases loneliness
Calms our hearts
Lowers our blood pressure

That is a tall order for a simple (((Hugs))).

Fortunately J.C. Little, a.k.a. The Animated Woman, has pondered the problem of the virtual hug and put her considerable creative skills as author, artist, animator, humorist and blogger to work in coming up with a virtual hug that incorporates the personal flair and depth of feeling you could only get in real life (IRL) with a combination of the Bear hug, Air hug, Bone-crusher hug, and Back-thumping Hug.

J.C. Little’s virtual hug — what I like to think of as:

The “Smudgy Hug”

Now that you’ve seen it, share some “Smudgy Hug” love with your virtual friends!

You can read more about this hug and JC Little at The Animated Woman.




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