Ugh…hardcopy. What is this, the 80’s?

How many times have we personally, at work or home, gone digital with something instead of jotting it down on a sheet of paper? Do you note phone numbers, leave yourself reminders and even manage grocery lists on your smartphone? You’re not alone – your kid’s starting to do these things too. As a society, we’ve moved away from handwriting, in favor organizational smartphones, iPads and netbooks. Personally, if someone had a gun to my head and told me I had to write my own ransom note, I don’t think I’d be able to find a sheet of paper and a pen.

Gwendolyn Bounds of The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the trend. It turns out that your local primary school might be teaching penmanship for as little as one hour per week. And at schools that do make handwriting a priority, parents then stand in the way, wondering why schools are wasting time on an ancient art.

Studies seem to unanimously prove that when kids (and adults) hand-write letters, there is more of a lasting impression in their brains of the letters, words, and ideas that are being penned. I’m sure no one will step up and say that our type-exclusive culture has been slowly killing intelligence, but that’s why 8BitDad is as hard-hitting as we are. We’ll say the things that the Wall Street Journal is afraid to say; Typing crap out is making us stupid.

It’s not all bad news though. With the proliferation of touchscreen accessories like phones and tablet computers, applications exist to translate stylus or finger-writing into text via OCR (Optical Character Recognition). So as it turns out, Twitter and Facebook won’t make you completely stupid, as long as you’re tracing out your letters on your iPad instead of using the soft-keyboard. Maybe there’s hope for us yet. There are already iPad apps available to help kids with their ABCs.

If nothing else, you’ve got to look at the big picture: high school SATs still require a hand-written essay, and as the Wall Street Journal reminds us, unreadable essays net your child a score of ZERO. This ultimately means no college, and your kid never moves out. And if you are able to spark your kid’s interest in handwriting, please remember that calligraphers for wedding invitations make what can only be described as a “s**tpile” of money.

Sauce: Wall Street Journal