Handwriting may appear to be an archaic form of communication in our digital world, but it holds many benefits for the mind and the heart.
Is handwriting a lost art?
There have been claims that handwriting is losing its relevance. Of course, this has been immensely contributed to by technological advancement. Most people communicate via texts and emails, leaving little opportunity for the handwritten word. Yet, this should not diminish the importance of handwriting.
Schools overall are de-emphasizing handwriting and some schools have abandoned altogether any practice of cursive writing. However, there is an undercurrent of change, a few schools and teachers that maintain need for good handwriting among pupils. Despite the introduction of voice to text, touchscreens, and keyboards, handwriting is still vital.
There are many reasons why handwriting is still important.
Mental Connectivity and Information Retention
France has remained committed to emphasizing the teaching of cursive writing in schools. Its Ministry of Education appreciates the benefits of handwriting and does not wish students to miss out on them.
Handwriting has the ability to enhance retention of information and mental connectivity.
Researchers have found vital connections between information retention, cognitive development, and handwriting. This discovery has formed a basis on which Vivianne Bouysse, the French national school inspector, advocates for cursive writing.
Why? Cursive writing allows you to be deliberate in the way individual characters link and enhances your spelling capability. Note-taking by hand allows you to differentiate between what is being said and the information worth noting down. As a result, handwriting is an important tool for information retention, development, and learning. Cursive writing allows perhaps even forces, one to be more selective. This is something I experienced when I was a student back in high school. I experienced what is called ‘positive selective processing’ that enabled me, through handwriting, to not only understand but also remember what my teacher was saying.
Handwriting has a tendency of increasing one’s creativity. This is something that many novelists agree with. A study by the University of Washington found out that students wrote faster, in complete sentences and longer, writing by hand versus typing.
Writing by hand is engaging and allows you to better compose thoughts, hence activating the creative part of your brain.
You will be able to choose every thought carefully. The brain becomes more thoughtful and thorough since it is increasingly engaged during cursive writing.
Handwriting also allows you to better summon your subconscious powers to produce creative work. Professionals even recommend first drafting important communications in handwritten form before typing it.
Greater Personal Connection
Handwritten notes are more personal forms of expression. The entire act of creating a handwritten letter or note is a more intimate and creative, and is likely to be received with greater warmth and gravity.
Handwritten notes offer a depth of thoughtfulness and develop a long-lasting memory which typed correspondence can’t touch.
That is why people value handwritten birthday cards, notes, and letters. They are great reflections of your regard for your friendships and relationships.
Handwriting is still relevant, with numerous benefits for the mind and the heart. The next time you have notes to take or an important communication to share, whether to a business colleague or a personal friend or loved one — or perhaps even to yourself through journaling — try putting pen to paper.
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