Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Is Handwriting Dying?

The other day while I was listening to music on Spotify, my auditory enjoyment was interrupted by an advertisement for Bic pens that piqued my interest. It was all about the importance of handwriting and the various benefits it can have for your life, including better academic results. Obviously, Bic has a vested interest in extolling the benefits of handwriting - after all, if nobody is writing anymore, then they won't need to buy pens.

However, their cleverly named "Fight For Your Write" marketing campaign got me thinking about handwriting, and whether it is quickly becoming a thing of the past. I started to think about how often I actually write things by hand anymore, and realized that it is something I only rarely do. In the past several months, I've handwritten a few shopping lists, I've written messages in a couple of wedding and birthday cards, and on rare occasion, I've jotted down some notes on a pad of paper.

Here's what this post would look like handwritten.
The thing is, I imagine that I actually write far more often than the average person in today's technology-filled world. I usually carry a small pad of paper and a pen around in my purse in case I need to write something down when I'm out and about, but nowadays most people would just use their smartphone to do this.

As someone who grew up just as computers, the internet, and cellphones took over the world, it's hard to imagine life without handwriting, especially childhood. As a teenager, I remember my friends and I filling notebooks with stories and drawings and notes that we passed to each other between classes. I wonder if kids just text each other instead now.

I also remember how thrilling it was when we would get letters every month or so in French class from our pen pals across the ocean in France. We would marvel at how neat their handwriting was and how they wrote on graph paper, and were so excited to see the drawings and photos they included. I bet if they do things like this in schools today, they probably send emails.

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I always feel like things that are handwritten seem more personal and special. It's especially exciting to get a letter from a friend in the mail nowadays, given how rare that is. It makes me sad to think that handwriting is quickly disappearing from our lives.

So, despite the fact that Bic is clearly just trying to sell more pens, I'm not annoyed anymore when their advertisement interrupts my music. I doubt that they're going to make much of a difference in terms of preventing smartphones and computers and all the other forms of technology out there from completely taking over the role of handwriting in the next few years, but it is kind of nice that they're trying... she says while typing this blog post on a laptop.

How's your handwriting? Do you prefer easy-to-read printed type or the personal touch of a handwritten note? Do you think handwriting is dying? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!