Is handwriting becoming obsolete?

I recall a time period, long ago, in elementary school, where I actually would be graded on my handwriting; not only my knowledge on handwriting, but my actual skill at it as well.  Looking back at that now, I realize that was sort of cruel but more importantly completely worthless.  Back then, I guess we really couldn’t predict the dominance of technology.  In perfect honesty, I don’t remember every capital letter in cursive. 

When you have to take certain tests now a days they have you hand write a paragraph in cursive basically saying how you don’t be a cheating jerk.  The amount of time it took me to write that blew me away.  Not only did it take some time, but I found my ignorance to be frustrating.  This whole notion sparked the notion in my head though, “is handwriting becoming obsolete?” 

When was the last time you hand wrote something?  When was the last nice you willing used pen and paper over a word processor when both options were readily available to you? For me, the answer is hand writing ‘Thank You’ notes.  While technology makes things a million times easier and faster, hand written messages will always be far more personal.  Other than that… I don’t know.

The Guardian’s Phillip Hensher wrote on this topic:

About six months ago, I realised that I had no idea what the handwriting of a good friend of mine looked like. I had known him for over a decade, but somehow we had never communicated using handwritten notes. He had left voice messages for me, emailed me, sent text messages galore. But I don't think I had ever had a letter from him written by hand, a postcard from his holidays, a reminder of something pushed through my letter box. I had no idea whether his handwriting was bold or crabbed, sloping or upright, italic or rounded, elegant or slapdash.

It’s bad enough that I only knew a few phone numbers by memory, but if I know I wouldn’t be able to identify my best friends’ handwriting from one another to save their lives.  That’s a bit strange to think about.  The stranger thing is that I don’t feel like I’m at any sort of loss from slowly forgetting handwriting.  I only see it becoming more obsolete, especially with no major pushes to restore it.


[Gizmodo via Guardian]