In our digital age, the value of the physical act of writing is slowly being recognized. Studies have shown that the manual encoding required in writing notes by hand (rather than typing them into a computer during a lecture) improves retention. That extra step of translating what you’re hearing into a physical action seems to reinforce the information.
And, as schools continue to do away with any educational programs that don’t contribute to standardized test scores, cursive writing has largely been dismissed as something children are expected to learn. Which has begun to make cursive writing a novelty, something fun, an extracurricular activity sought out by children.
In the video below, we see the return of the manual typewriter as an object of fascination. What’s interesting about the classes taught here is that the practice is seen as a manifestation of mindfulness — because you can’t immediately delete what you’ve typed, you have to slow down, pay attention, and carefully compose it. Does this foretell a return to the glory days of carbon paper? Probably not, but perhaps there’s a lesson here in how the fastest response is not always the best response.