Friday, March 04, 2011

The Loss of Penmanship

Speaking of the ancient technology of pencil and paper, I've had a lot of conversations recently about the loss of penmanship (in this digital age of the keyboard).

I regularly find myself scrawling something on a post it note, only to have the first word come out as a incomprehensible traffic jam of characters. I've decided this is simply because my brain is trying to communicate through my hands too fast. Based on how smashed the first word is, I'm guesstimating that I type at least 4 times as fast as I write.

This also reminds me of a funny thing I saw a child do recently. We all know the ubiquitous sideways smiley that litters our casual digital communication, an obvious evolution of the right side up smiley that our teachers scrippled on our homework in grade school.

I saw a child hand write a side ways smiley face at the end of their sentance.


I suppose if that's all a child has ever known in the digital age, as far as they know, a smiley face is supposed to be sideways.

Whenever I discuss the loss of penmanship, there is always a sense of fear mixed with a sense of nostalgia. When literacy became commonplace, I'm sure many feared (or maybe not) we would loose our verbal story telling skills and memory capacity.

Maybe they were right.

But when we step back at look at it, this is a much smaller and insignificant step (physical script to digital script) then transitions from oral communication to written communication.

So lets loose the fear, and laugh about the quirks. :)

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