Is Handwriting Obsolete?



Is Hand Writing Obsolete?

In the current climate of tablets, laptops, and smartphones, is handwriting obsolete now?  Typing can be quicker than writing, the information is stored forever, is searchable and can be re-edited at a later date. Why bother writing anything down?

This was an interesting question posed to us by a customer, so we decided to do some research.

What Happens In Your Brain When You Write Something Down?

When you write, a certain part of the brain called the reticular activating system (RAS) is stimulated. RAS acts as a filter for all the sensory information you receive from your environment and works out which bits of information are important and which ones can be ignored. Through this stimulation, writing by hand helps you focus on the task at hand with minimal distraction.

In addition to increasing focus, writing things down has been proven to help you retain the information you recorded better.  Psychological scientists at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) conducted an experiment in which students were divided into two groups.

The first group used laptops to take notes while the others used traditional notebooks. The experiments proved that the students who took notes using laptops were more likely to take verbatim notes with little or no mental processing of the information. Students who used notebooks were able to understand and retain the knowledge better, and memorise the information better.  The results of the experiment showed that hand writing information leads to better factual learning as well as conceptual learning and is a superior method of memorizing information.

Is it just Science?

However, for us here at RISE, the benefits go beyond science.  We feel that by committing pen to paper, you are a making a personal committal to yourself.  After all, your handwriting is an extension of your character and person, and by individually shaping each letter, rather than tapping a single key for a whole letter, your sense of committal to what you have written is much more deliberate.

In Summary

Faster or slower, we feel that hand writing has a lot to offer, particularly for writing spiritual journey down, and putting pen to paper is a way for us to shape our impressions, stimulate the brain, and retain what we have read better.