Sometime back, I started noticing that my handwriting has worsen. More importantly, I realized that my hand seems rigid on holding a pen and it refuses to move across the page lucidly. I literally have to force my hand to make my cursive right. My hand stiffens as I try to write as if it were a freezing winter morning. The curves sometimes become sharper and sometimes more slanted. It is even becoming difficult to put down my proper signature on official documents. And this really worries me.
When was the last time you had written some long notes by hand? Personally I don't really remember when I did. All that we really write these days are small notes here and there. We don't even use a pen in several days together. All day long we can find ourselves tapping away on the keyboards of our desktops/laptops and smartphones. Previously when I had to go shopping, I would scribble down a list and place it in my bag. These days I make that list on my phone. The culture of writing by hand is definitely on the downside. My imagery fears that one day mankind would no longer know how to write by hand and typing would become the new handwriting.
The same fear made me 'google' the issue "Handwriting vs. Typing". Let me share a couple of interesting articles I found on the same:
- Handwriting vs typing: is the pen still mightier than the keyboard?
- What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades
Whatever be the pros and cons of hand-writing or typing, I believe hand-writing is so much more humane. Remember how in school, we were rebuked for our clumsy handwriting! Additional marks were given in tests for neat handwriting. I studied in a missionary school and was taught to write in cursive. About a year back, I saw a lady writing in a specific cursive handwriting similar to mine and I couldn't resist asking if she did her schooling from a missionary school. And she indeed had!
Then who can beat the charm of a handwritten letter! When Az was away abroad for a couple of years, email and phone-calls kept us connected. But still I would write him a letter on special occasions. I believe handwritten letters are so much more romantic and intimate. As a kid, Namz and I would write a lot of letters and wait in anticipation of their replies. Nothing can beat the sheer joy of opening and holding a handwritten letter. (My old post 'Days of Letters') And what a joy to open a yellowed letter after many years!
With the ease of technology to tap away words, it needs conscious efforts to use more of pen and paper. I try to write to-do notes everyday, that being the only things I actually have to write down. When I feel like writing a post or an article I do that virtually as it gives me the ease of editing and rewriting without leaving scratched out words or sentences. It becomes the fair copy without actually having to make one. Until a few months back, I was maintaining a personal journal. That at least had me writing long notes from time to time. Now I am not even doing that. Most people today maintain e-journals, once again eroding the age-old charm of handwritten stuff.
In the present day, where kids are learning to use technology first and the alphabet later, handwriting seriously seems to be fading away. With that, I wonder, what will become of sciences like graphology and arts like calligraphy. How will we scribble notes on the margins of books and personal work to leave a trail? Shall we be curbed of the three-dimensional freedom we have with a pen and paper? Shall we limit the use of hand movement (while writing) like we have done to our legs?
The fading of handwriting saddens me as well as scares me. How does the same make you feel?