TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Does handwriting have a place in the modern world?

People's appeal to handwriting decreased due to the increased use of computers. Nowadays, most people type their projects, researches, home works and answer their final exams on computers.

So, does handwriting have any importance in the modern world?

What effect does technology have on handwriting?

Should we teach our children how to handwrite, or will typing be enough?

Won't handwriting be something from the past?

There are very few handwritten books sold in the market, most books are typed. Does this indicate that handwriting is in its death stage?

Will bad handwriting stop people from writing in the near future?

Solutions?

Share:
  • thumb
    Dec 1 2011: Handwriting is an amazing thing to be able to do.
    Though my handwriting is bad and messy, I use it quite a lot...

    Paper and pencil just work amazingly. No technology can entirely replace it. you can't draw and type at the same time, with the same tool... you can't carve your name in the bark of a tree without being able to write... or at the beach in the sand for that matter.

    Furthermore, when taking note (written), it improves your memory and learning (of what is being told), as you add another sensory input to memorize.

    It will probably decrease more, but like any technology ever developed: it will never disappear.
  • thumb
    Dec 22 2011: Well, I'm in love with a piece of paper and a pen, I love my own unreadable and messy (so do others think) handwriting, to me it's so purely genial and orderly (in my way). I could write my diary and left it opened in the middle of the room - I knew my secrets are safe. It's like a piece of art, a piece of a paper with my writing, everyone can see different things written, it's always a riddle =]
    It still definitely has a place here, but I have no idea how long.
  • thumb
    Dec 2 2011: Nothing is more romantic than a handwritten love letter.
  • Dec 10 2011: Have a look at Livescribe. Its a pen with a USB connection. You write on certain paper, connect to the PC, and voila, you have what you wrote or drew on your PC.

    If handwriting is making a comeback with technology, this is the start.
  • Dec 6 2011: yes i think handwriting does play a major role..as anything written stays in our minds for longer..and if written with a good handwrting..it will have a positive effect on the person writing..
  • Dec 5 2011: True.
    Even though computers are widely used.There still have some time when handwriting is acquired.If you only have the ability to type letters but not to write it down. Many opportunities will leave you alone.And the failure comes.
  • thumb
    Dec 1 2011: This is my dream USB device ;
    A wireless notebook with a wireless pensil. A programm on my laptop recognizes my handwriting and translates it into fonts... If I wish to.
    Otherwise, I could chose to write here on TED with my actual handwriting, and add drawings if I felt like it.

    The great thing about it is that it would analyse the letters, thus allowing me to edit my writing afterwards, or to copy paste or to match google search results, etc...
    I'm sick on typing of a keyboard. As Christophe Cop says, I wish I could draw, once in a while.

    So this is the future of handwriting. Get to work.
    I've got 50 euros ready for this notebook. Make it happen.
  • thumb
    Dec 1 2011: I think it will become an art form, like painting's demise in documenting history way back when.

    BTW . . . that's ah some picture.
    • thumb
      Dec 2 2011: It is already an art form.

      Caligraphy is considered a hobby instead of a required skill.
    • thumb
      Dec 2 2011: Hi Lynn !

      That little word-play posting has disappeared ... spontaineously deleted itself ... so I made an inquiry through e-mail to Uncle Ted ... I thought it was heading towards a good bit of fun... but who knows what happened.

      I thought you and Frans got things off to a great start !

      Anyway... thanks for participating, and I will let you know if they will let me re-post it.

      All the Best !
      Denis

      Cause "Best" is a word "that's better than good"
  • thumb
    Dec 31 2011: Well,in China ,good handwritings means you will be respected by others.
  • Dec 13 2011: handwriting grew in importance with the spread of education. Prior to this is was the specialized skill we call caligraphy and was practiced by a very small segment of the population.

    Educational standards in the time of chalk and quills, vs. fountain pens, vs. ball points each placed differing standards on the importance of penmenship. What I worry more about is spelling, wil txt-tlk be the new way we all communicate? Every time I look at text-speak I am reminded of my grandfathers rant about how the ball point ruined penmenship, because he had learned with the fountain pen.

    I have spent time writing with a quill, and a fountain pen, both require substansially more diligence and exactitude. So I would hazard that the importance of penmenship is predicated largely on technological and educational factors.

    Of course it will continue to have value, but it is easy to see that the respect it is given is decreasing rapidly. It remains an art form in Asia, and in calligraphy, and I would expect that to continue.
  • thumb
    Dec 5 2011: Handwriting will always have 2 uses... Caligraphy, and crime. I think Caligraphy might pay a little better as automation takes care of more of our manual labor. People with nice handwriting will write personallized wedding invites for people etc. Nowhere near there yet... and, hopefully crime doesn't pay any better in the future. Crime already pays well enough in my opinion. Handwritten notes can be passed and read almost without detection though, and they always will be able to be, until the governments can afford to put cameras on all of our private property... for "public safety" reasons... of course.
  • Dec 5 2011: True. Handwriting is no more in such use like it was before, but still its importance persists.

    Something written is more nearer to the intellect. You can touch your words and by the same intensity you can feel their meanings. Something you write seems more ORIGINAL, more YOU, then any other type of writing. People still write diaries which reflects SELF in a better way than typing in MS Word Software. Last but not least, If we talk about a personal sign which makes a paper a contract, a treaty, or a valuable document is also handwriting.

    Beside all, it’s YOUR's. Your very Personal thing. From which people know you and judge you.
  • thumb
    Dec 2 2011: I dont have an idea on positive or negative effects ( most probably it will ruin languages and kill creativity) but forget about handwriting. Even hand typing is waste of time in this technofreak area. If they may practice a brain surgery via robots from thousand miles away, then there should also be a vocal recognization tool for writing. You say, it types, you give commands or use mouse to make changes and everybody is happier. ( I am writer you know thats why I am a little obsessed about these things)
  • Dec 1 2011: What I find myself doing is if someone else needs to read it I will type it for legibility, if its just for me then I will tend to write it by hand. Personally the actual act of writing helps to ingrain ideas in my memory, so for example all my college notes are always hand written.

    The problem with handwritten notes is unlike their digital equivalent they are hard to backup. One item on my wishlist which bridges this gap is the Boogie Board from http://www.improvelectronics.com/ (With Christmas coming up it might just be my present to myself). I'm hoping more products like this come out in time or that tablet PC's get better at taking notes (any I have tried just dont seem to have the required sensitivity/resolution).

    Another problem with typed notes is they are very impersonal. I could never imagine sending a typed card or letter to a loved one, family member or friend.

    I think that each have their advantages and disadvantages and like many other things its best to pick the tool that suits the job at hand. As such I dont see handwriting going anywhere soon.

    As a minor aside how long before we ask the question "is typing something from the past?". With the likes of Google Voice or iOS's Siri making improvements in the voice recognition space how long before we don't really need to type or write at all?
  • thumb
    Dec 1 2011: Handwriting can be used to identify the person writing, while text and print cannot. Handwriting can sometime only be read by certain people, and can make some works secretive.