Link Love: The Handwriting Debate… again.

I was torn whether to include the ubiquitous “Is handwriting important?” article in this week’s Link Love. This issue has been rehashed and mentioned on this site countless times (1, 2, 3… there were more). Pretty much each Fall, when students head back to school, the topic re-emerges. Each year, more and more students rely on computers and tablets for their studies and one of us stalwart pen users will pop up with the same list of why handwriting is still important. This time, it was a list from Lindsay at The Postman’s Knock, a blog focused on handwriting and calligraphy.

She left out one regularly touted talking point, however. Handwriting does not require electricity, an app, or any specific hardware or software compatibility. You can write with a pencil on the back of an envelope or napkin, use a ballpoint pen on an old receipt or use a beautiful Italian-made journal and fountain pen. They will all work to capture your message. In five years (or 50 years), as long as the ink or pencil did not fade or the paper was not damaged, the text can be read by anyone without having to find compatible software or hardware. Any of us who still have a stack of old hard drives, computer discs or CD-ROMs will tell you that accessing old files can be challenging.

If you’re reading this blog, though, you probably don’t need to be convinced of the benefits of handwriting. You already reap some sort of benefit from the experience. The likelihood we can convert anyone else to our way of thinking though? That remains to be seen.

Love Ana

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3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I different perspective on “does handwriting matter” … we can look at books and letters from way back to the the Roman empire; however, digital formats come and go.

    It might not matter to you, but it might to your grand(^N)-child that is wading thru boxes containing notebooks, 3.25″ floppies, and VHS tapes of your family.

    1. Also the ability to use handwriting, especially cursive, is related to the ability to read it. As a historian who has now had multiple interns that can’t read cursive, I fear we are loosing the ability to read those old documents as well!

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