As I was driving to work today a terrible thought hit me like a ton of bricks hitting the pavement from a fourth-story window: are we completely abandoning the art of handwriting?
When was the last time you wrote a letter to a friend…on actual paper? Paper, you might recall, is that wonderful, tangible thing that we all used to carry around in our book bags and briefcases. We used to feel the smooth sheets between our fingers and stare sheepishly at the blank canvases, fearful that at any moment the slightest twitch of a finger could ruin a perfectly crafted letter, poem or thank you note.
Now we send eCards, update Facebook profiles and send out tweets – tap, tap, click, click, wooosh – and there it goes into the digital space! Sure, you may still pick up a pen to write a check, sign your name on a receipt and jot down some quick notes here and there, but whatever happened to the calming act of sitting down at your desk, pulling out that blank sheet of paper and watching the ink bleed permanent meditations before your very eyes.
I’m not knocking the technological/green revolution. Not by any means. I just miss having letters I can hold and seeing people’s personalities come out in the swoop of an “e” or the curves of an “s.” These handwritten pieces may not be instant, they may not be all about SEO, but they’re pretty. And I like pretty things.
And here’s one other thing to think about. If students are taking notes on computers, sending emails, updating online statues etc., then what does that mean for our hardcopy future? Will we revert back to the days when just a few gifted scholars sat in large, quiet rooms recording history and literature in leather books?
This is what I think about on my way to work. That, and how much I love coffee.