June 21, 2016

5 Reasons Handwriting Matters


We live in the digital age, right? Or at least the keyboard age — isn’t that obvious?  Computers, cell phones and tablets are ubiquitous. Why would anyone need to write anything by hand?

Look at it another way: why should anyone compose music or paint a picture?  After all, can’t digital programs do those tasks as well?  But that’s art, you say. What about regular old utilitarian handwriting — isn’t it a throwback to a 20th century (or 17th century) mindset?

Here are five reasons why handwriting still matters:

  1. BRAIN DEVELOPMENT: children who learn handwriting in school, including cursive handwriting, do better in school because of the development of neural pathways in the brain. | Read more
  2. AESTHETIC DEVELOPMENT: writing is an organized system of making marks. Over time a person begins to recognize the patterns created by certain letter combinations. Pattern recognition not only helps brain development, per se, but helps develop aesthetic skills useful in both artistic and technical pursuits.
  3. IF YOU CAN’T WRITE IT YOU CAN’T READ IT: I’ve observed that children (and increasingly, adults) who didn’t learn cursive writing forms can’t read cursive scripts. Our history is replete with handwritten documents (Magna Carta, US Declaration of Independence, all those letters tied up with ribbon that your great-grandmother wrote, the list goes on). If you can’t read, the past is closed to you (NOTE: don’t count on someone digitizing every piece of paper from your family’s past).
  4. IT’S PERSONAL: Keyboards are great. I use them every day. But handwriting is personal. You cannot help but transmit the unique qualities of your personality into the movements of your hand and arm. Taking the time to write something by hand is like sending a little gift to the recipient.
  5. IT’S PORTABLE: The power goes out, you’re at the top of a mountain, you need to leave a quick note for someone. Handwriting can be done anywhere, as long as you’ve got a semblance of a writing tool with you. Wouldn’t it be nice if that note you wrote, or your journal entry, were legible?