For all the info, check it it out on economist.com
It's one of those really confusing things when one first arrives in France (or any French speaking country) but soon you get used to it I guess. Like some of the commenters I agree, I really miss hugs! I'm just like Olaf (from the Disney film 'Frozen'). "I like warm hugs!"
For me, I don't mind doing the cheek kiss thing (bise/bisous) when greeting someone but what gets really tiring is when leaving... when you have multiple to kiss multiple times on the cheek it gets really time consuming! Many times I just want to get out of there (party/event/dinner/gathering) with a verbal 'goodbye' and a wave, especially if I don't know those people that well.