The death of handwriting

We all know its happening, we just haven’t realised it yet.

Where do you write your shopping list? On an app on your phone.

Where do you leave a message for your housemate when someones called when they’re not home? You wouldn’t – they would just receive a direct text.

Not to even mention handwriting an assignment, memo or recipe.

I remember my teachers all throughout primary school warning me: “write your a’s like that, drawing a circle on the top of your i’s rather than a dot and writing your 6’s back to front will significantly waste time and will lead to slow and deficient handwriting for the rest of your life.”

The stubborn and obscenely creative child I was, I ignored such comments, with an unusual satisfaction in claiming to be different with pretty handwriting rather than practical.

But now look who’s right.

Thanks to the introduction of phones, tablets and computers in the past decade, the hours beyond hours we spent in primary school learning to join our letters, write on the lines and flick our words has essentially gone to waste.

Is this a bad thing? Perhaps not.

Communicating and recording through technology, despite how much criticism it receives for being a generally ‘new’ concept, like anything else, does allow mankind to work and live in a much more easy manner.

The act of typing, making a mistake and backspacing rather than rewriting the document has significantly simplified the production of documents.

For example –

Signing for eligibility of credit card use is becoming extinct with the growing popularity of pay pass.

Spell check on computers overrides our misspelt words, defecting our spelling skills. However if we will exclusively communicate through technology, will this make a difference?

Writer Kitty Burns told BBC News that in the future, handwriting will be so extinct that the handwriting from today will be as strange as medieval symbols.

The author of Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting, Ms Florey, agrees.

“When your great-great-grandchildren find that letter of yours in the attic, they’ll have to take it to a specialist, an old guy at the library who would decipher the strange symbols for them,” she told the BBC News.

This is just another step in history, where handwriting converted to typing, where human kind will work robotically, each decision at the press of the button.

This is just another step of our way there.


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