Saturday, April 9, 2016

To Cursive or not to cursive? That is the question. - a mindwrap

Quotes on Handwriting...

The Death of Handwriting
Part 4

Neuroscientists say there is no doubt that technology is rewiring our brains.  Avid video game players are thought to have sharper spatial skills and the ability to process visual information more quickly.  The Net generation's brain appears to switch tasks, adapt and synthesize information more readily. 

Personally I find freedom in writing.  Being a visual learner I retain information better if I take notes by hand, probably because I'm old school (and old)  and I'm then in my familiar comfort zone .  I love to transfer oral and visual information from its source onto a blank piece of paper that is strategically set before me.  When I try to record data with my iPad or computer it is lost to me. I cannot retain its meaning and have to keep going back again and again to get it into my brain.  In high school and all through university I always studied using handwritten study notes that I condensed and  transcribed onto index cards.  The cards were small, portable and mine.  I don't get that same success when I use technology.

Dr. Norman Doidge fears that if cursive fades away, so will many of the cognitive skills that handwriting builds.  If children don't learn those movements, their brains will develop in a different way that no one has really thought through yet.

It's not the brain connections I will be sad about as much as the personal connections.  My Grandmother's worn Bible with all her asides and comments, coveted cards from my deceased sister, mom and other family members that have passed, are family heirlooms  and very precious to me.  The very sight of their personalized handwriting and style bring back fond childhood memories and yes, a tear to my eye. 

 The flash recognition has been the subject of studies by Dr. Jason Barton, a neurologist and Canadian Research Chair at the University of British Columbia, whose research focuses on the role of the human brain in vision.  Barton's finding, using brain imaging, suggest we recognize handwriting the same way we distinguish faces, triggering similar emotional responses.

Sadly the paper trail of letters and cards are dwindling as people are opting to email and text each other.  These methods are easy, immediate, inexpensive and satisfying.  The emotion connection is still there it is true.

As for me?  I love to recognize my correspondents through their unique touch of pen to paper.  No emodicon can impart as much loves as "xoxo" made by hand.  Sure I understand that electronic messages convey information and even sentiment but I can't imagine making printouts and bundling them up with elastic bands to tuck away in an old trunk or dresser drawer for later perusal. We are more connected in this modern world than ever before but it's a connection that threatens to leave no trace. I truly hope that does not become a reality for our children's sake.  Long live the handwritten and handprinted word!

Unwrapping some Signature fun...

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