Top Tech blogger: Don’t shake hands
By Bala Shah
American blog TechCrunch is one of the most powerful media organizations in the world. TechCrunch founder and CEO Michael Arrington is on first name basis with most senior managers of many tech companies. In a record of sorts, last year TechCrunch had a million readers to its RSS feed which is more than the figures of the top 10 blogs in India combined together.
One positive paragraph in this American blog TechCrunch could mean investment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Michael is one of the most powerful men in tech America.
Unlike most tech journalists, Michael wears his heart on his sleeves and is often quoted as saying ‘most of us are biased, but sometimes we are not honest about it’. Michael studied law before starting TechCrunch which has a reputation for diligently reporting every important piece of news in America’s tech industry. In recent years, they have expanded to Europe as well.
Early this week, Michael wrote an article in his tech blog TechCrunch complaining about the disgusting habit of hand shaking. Michael felt that shaking hands had outlived its purpose and it was not worth the risk to get a cold or flu by such bodily contact. And then there was the matter of hygiene as some people in the west do not even wash their hands after visiting the loo.
Michael’s argument would definitely appeal to most Indians who have a culture of namaste (folding hands) rather than shaking them. Also, as half our country is vegetarian, it may not be a pleasant feeling shaking the hand of a new friend who is tucking into chicken tikkas.
What was the response to Michael’s article in the leading American tech blog Techcrunch? 40 percent of readers agreed with him. The rest felt he had a psychological condition or just bad social skills.
Michael’s campaign against shaking hands has struck a cord with many techies in America.
After reading the article, an American software house OpenCandy even had a company meeting where no one shook hands. And of course they promptly told Michael Arrington that they liked his idea. Michael, in turn, blogged about this ‘brave company OpenCandy’ who have stopped shaking hands, thus giving them free valuable publicity. One mention in TechCrunch is equivalent to spending lakhs of rupees to promote your company or product.
Whether you agree with Michael or not, the fact is that he has picked up a cause which many techies believe in but dare not buck the social system.
If this ‘No hand shaking’ movement takes off in tech America, be assured that will become popular in India as well.