In the first years in school, one of the most important things students learn is how to write. However, when we look at our life now, lots of written communication happens digitally, on social media and messenger apps. In many jobs, people write on a computer and not with pen and paper, and type on tablets or smartphones. This questions: is handwriting even important nowadays?
Benefits to learning
You learn how to write in school. And in school and university, this skill can help you in different ways:
- Better memory: studies show that writing notes by hand helps you to remember the information for longer. Often, you can remember how and when you have written down the information or where on the page it is.
- More effective note-taking: usually, writing by hand is slower than typing. So, in the classroom or in a lecture at university, it forces you to write down key points and not whole sentences.
- You have to put down the information in your own words, which helps you to understand the topic better.
- Improved reading skills: because you physically write the letters, different senses and fine motor skills are needed. This helps to learn the letters and the words they create.
Stress release: writing down your thoughts can release stress. This can help to deal with negative memories from traumatic experiences. Less stress leads to better mental health, which improves the quality of life. This effect is greater when writing by hand than when typing on a keyboard.
Creativity: you have to think more about what you want to write, how to form the sentences, and which words to use when writing on paper. This encourages creativity and greater self-expression.
Closer connections: for example, doctors connect more to their patients when taking notes by hand. And we appreciate a handwritten note by a friend more than a text message. This is because it takes more time to write a note by hand and we can recognise personal handwriting styles.
We have more and more technology in our everyday life. Still, writing notes by hand is an important skill. It helps us to learn better in school and university. And it is a good way to release stress, express creativity, and form deeper connections with other people. Although we might not need to write as much as we used to, there are many reasons to keep writing by hand.