At last! some factual evidence about the benefits of handwriting. I have just received a “white paper” about the benefits of handwriting and it’s an impressive treatise. And yet there are still those who claim that handwriting is obsolete and that it should be replaced by typing. Do you still use handwriting? Or do you feel we should relegate it to the dustbin as soon as possible?
In the good old days handwriting was a craft. People prided themselves on their “penmanship.” And handwriting was actually a subject taught in schools. But today a growing number of schools no longer teach cursive handwriting at all. They claim that handwriting is passé and that they need to look to the future where typing and texting have all but replaced writing as the preferred means of communication.
Typing will become Obsolete
Well think of this: one day in the not too distant future, typing will also become obsolete. Already, dictating to text is a popular trend. And I must admit that I have succumbed to it myself. For example, rather than type a long message which can be a pain, I dictate it into my iphone which turns it into text. Wonderful! I’m all for using modern technology.
But there’s a downside
In our enthusiasm for the next new discovery we have undoubtedly gone overboard by spurning the age-old craft of handwriting. Many people are already complaining that because they write so seldom their handwriting has deteriorated and become unattractive. And then they tentatively ask me if their ugly handwriting could reveal anything about them! Just one of the prices that we have to pay for technology.
So are there any advantages in keeping handwriting alive and well? Here are a few pointers to keep in mind before we relegate handwriting to the proverbial dust heap.
Advantages and Benefits of Handwriting
According to a white paper released by the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation researchers have found that:
- Neural connections are developed and strengthened when children write in longhand.
- They also reported that massive regions in the brain such as thinking and language are activated through handwriting.
- Handwriting activates more brain areas.
- Adaptation, planning, aesthetics, and foresight are more fully engaged while writing by hand.
- The distinctly human qualities of beauty and emotion are enhanced.
- It is also regarded as a useful exercise to slow the cognitive effects of aging.
And there’s one more feature about handwriting that deserves to be mentioned although with caution.
Handwriting as a diagnostic tool.
As you’ll see in my post about validating graphology with science – I am very careful not to read too much into the diagnostic properties of handwriting – particularly with regard to medical conditions. We simply do not know enough about it yet.
But it certainly is a fact that handwriting reflects anxiety, old age, infirmity and illness in general.
And just recently research has shown that Parkinson’s disease appears to be detectable in handwriting.
The White Paper
There is much more too but I can only give you a taste here. “The White Paper” is a wonderful and full treatise on the merits of handwriting and you should really read it for yourself. If you would like to get the white paper as a PDF just let me know and I’ll send it to you.