My JOMC 240 peer, Gaitry, recently wrote a blog post about technology and its influence over our penmanship. She argued in her blog that with the advancement of technology, the use of penmanship has substantially decreased…so much that we are now no longer teaching cursive in school.

Gaitry then posed the questions: But with the constant use of technology, is there really a need to write? Everyone is either typing or texting their thoughts, most communication has becoming virtual…when is there a need to write?

Well Gaitry, I would like to answer your question and agree with your argument.

I think knowing how to write, both in print and in cursive, is extremely important.  No matter what the circumstances, having the ability to write anything down on paper will always be valuable.

Sure, with the direction in which technology is headed we might not ever have to rely on paper and pen to write down our thoughts, ideas, and messages.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still know how to write. What happens if technology fails and we are forced to handwrite? What do we do then? How will we be able to record and communicate with others from a distance?

Or worse…what happens when we reach an age where technology could challenge and control us? What will we do if we cannot write down everything that happens and transcribe our experience?

Now I know this is a very futuristic way of thinking…but we most consider all the possibilities if we plan on taking away such an important skill.

To further justify my reasoning, I found an article published by CNN supporting that technology has affected our handwriting skills.  The article stated that “technology is constantly increasing communication speeds, often anticipating words before our brains can send signals to our fingers. But experts say handwriting is being sacrificed for the sake of technology’s convenience.”

The article also discussed the implications of taking away cursive in the curriculum of elementary school students.  As of right now, the decision is left to the states.  However, “cursive requirements in U.S. public schools have declined as access to technology increases.  Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts and North Carolina require cursive.”

As a college student with two younger siblings, I can speak on behalf of the transitional change cursive has taken in school curriculums.  I remember distinctively spending an extensive period of time learning cursive in 3rd grade.  However, my brother (who is 3 years younger) did not nearly spend the amount of time that I did learning cursive….yet, he did learn it.  Not great, but not horrible either.

Unfortunately, my sister (who is 8 years younger) briefly covered cursive for less than 2 weeks.  WHAT????? She is now in middle school and can only manage to sign her name is cursive.  This is CRAZY! I do not at all blame her school for this…both my brother and I attended the same school.  However, because my sister was born in a different generation…she is growing up in a different world.  A world altered by the advancement of technology.

I personally think this is horrible! My poor baby sister was deprived from learning a valuable skill.

Out of my own curiosity, I decided to ask a few of my friends (who also attend UNC-CH) to write smaller sentences and sign their names in cursive.  Let me tell you, I was shocked with the outcome.

Many of my friends could barely form full sentences in cursive and when they signed their name, it looked horrendous! I am not trying to put them on blast…but the advancement of technology has even influenced those who did learn cursive!

My point of this whole rant is: Although technology advancement may seem great, it is taking away our traditional skills and independence.  We are now evolving with technology.  Technology is no longer evolving with us….that is a bit scary.