I had a chance to read some handwritten comments about some services in US and Canada and was surprised to see the handwriting of the people. It was hardly legible. It really took some time to read all those comments. This gave me an idea to think and gather some details to see if computers have affected our handwriting.
To start off with, the examination system in schools, colleges, and universities is totally revolutionized after computers entered our daily life activities. Earlier, the major part of the evaluation used to be subjective where the student had to write on paper in favor of or against an argument. A very little part consisted of objective-type questions, fill-in-the-blanks, true/false statements, and multiple-choice questions. The subjective part of the examination decreased a lot after the computer was introduced to the educational evaluation system. As a result, children at school get very less chances to write detailed articles on paper with their own hands.
Everyone tries to do it on a computer screen mainly because of the enormous editing options available there. In the examination, multiple-choice questions are a major part now, leaving very little chance for a student to write something. Students are given very little homework to write at home. Most of it is done at school and only activities are suggested for homework. As a result, students these days avoid writing a lengthy article on paper if they are asked for it. People have started hating writing on paper because it takes more time than writing on a computer screen.
This has also affected the publication of books as well. No one cares to consult a hard copy of the encyclopedia these days. Everyone prefers to search on the internet for the required information. Most of this activity has transferred to online resources now.
Before the advent of electronic mail, people used to write letters to their relatives and friends to keep in touch. Talking to a far-off relative on the phone was considered to be a great luxury at that time. Things have changed after the internet and electronic media entered our lives. People now frequently use emails and text messages to communicate with their near and dear ones. The postal department has other things to transport now instead of letters and messages.
The financial systems have also updated themselves to cope with modern technology. Earlier we used to go to the banks to withdraw money from our bank accounts. We used to get a token and wait for our turn in the queue, with a bank check of the desired amount in our hand, with proper signatures by the account holder at a specified place on that check. This is a thing of the past now for a common man. ATMs have facilitated this option to get money from the bank account at any time in 24 hours from anywhere in the world and without signing a single paper.
These days if we are to go to the bank to get money through a bank check, we often come across complications due to our signatures not matching the specimen they have. This is because we have stopped writing on paper and our hands have forgotten the way we used to write and sign on paper.
Engineers and other workers in different fields of life seldom use pen and paper to plan and draw things for their work. Due to a lot of options available on the computer screen, they prefer to do it there. Recently a whiteboard in the meeting room of my office has been replaced with a big screen. No one wants to write now. Everyone brings his presentation ready on his laptop and that is shared with the rest of the team.
I agree that all this development in science has made life much easier for today’s man but it has badly affected a lot of things as well. Our handwriting is one of them. It was really a skill to write well, neat and clean, and clearly legible on paper. But this has vanished now. At times if we are to write something on paper, it takes time more than normal.
On the whole, the handwriting style is very much affected. When people write in a hurry, it is hardly legible. I am afraid with computers involved more in every aspect of our lives, a day is not far for a computer generation when writing with hands would be considered a thing of the past. We are definitely on the way to losing this skill forever in near future.