At Enticio, we enjoy using keyboards of all kinds but we reject the long history of public shaming when it comes to handwriting. We believe this trend was fueled by a general migration to the keyboard for all communication. As with most trends, we confuse “can” with “should” and no one stopped to ask about whether that was a good idea; after all we had already been using typewriters for a very long time. However, the result has been an unprecedented loss of privacy, security, and perhaps overshadowing everything else is the trivialization of most human communication as our personal conversations have become part of some company’s business model. At the time, we didn’t really care because email wasn’t much more than a cool convenience, but it matters a whole lot more today. In fact, it has become a critical service. Compare the email experience to sealing a physical envelope with a letter inside, no one is showing you ads or making money off of that, in fact, it is a federal crime (in the U.S.) to open someone’s mail. Something happened when we were paying attention to other things.
We think we have a better option that preserves what is great about pen and paper and perfectly integrates it with the convenience and speed of modern communication. Additionally, we can dispense with the compromises we have gotten used to accepting and start celebrating the imperfections that makes each of us unique and interesting as individuals instead of seeing it as something that needs fixing. We are not alone in this view, there is no shortage of new information that supports the position that we have all paid a heavy price for abandoning handwritten communication, even if we are only writing to ourselves.
According to the Wall Street Journal, writing by hand can affect aptitude and intelligence in the article: “Can Handwriting Make You Smarter?” , where college students outperform others academically.
Forbes magazine doesn’t pull any punches in the article, “Your Lousy Handwriting Might Actually Make You Smarter.” When talking about how we learn things, they quote educational psychologist Dr. Kenneth Kiewra from the University of Nebraska when he says, “Ironically, the very feature that makes laptop note-taking so appealing – the ability to take notes more quickly – was what undermined learning.”
Business Insider magazine continues with an article titled, “Here’s Why Writing Things Out By Hand Makes You Smarter.” This reiterates the central point that simply going faster actually hurts our ability to learn as there is no time left for comprehension; we are simply turning into stenographers, typing as much as we can but understanding very little of it.
Now, you would be forgiven if you thought that it was all about college performance and business, considering this list so far, however, there’s much more. Psychology Today has this to say in, “Why Writing by Hand Could Make You Smarter;” where they talk about the ‘cursive connection’ with school children. To pull a quote from the article that shows that, “…scientists are discovering that learning cursive is an important tool for cognitive development, particularly in training the brain to learn ‘functional specialization'” In fact, more and more states in the U.S. are putting cursive back in the curriculum of required competency.