Writing in a Digital world


In the world of today is still important to write?

When I say write I mean the actual process of drawing the typography that represents our language on paper, not the ability to construct meaningful sentences.

Heresy I know but hear me out, how often do you actually write these days? My sum total of writing is in this order:

  • Shopping lists,
  • Random development notes scribbled in a notebook,
  • Birthday Cards

And that’s about it; the rest I do on a computer and print out or email: Letters, forms etc. All are word processed and printed out, I rarely actually write anything of length using a pen.

Perhaps I have a skewed perspective as I’m Dyslexic which means my writing is pretty scrappy if I don’t really concentrate on it; this means that If I can, I type.

I doubted that I was alone in my abandonment of the written word, so I tweeted:

Is handwriting important in a digital world? SeecTom

and got the following response:

Lizthebiz@SeecTom I hope not… my handwriting is positively dire but I can type 63 words per minute!

@Lizthebiz Do you type because handwriting was poor or did your handwriting suffer as a result of you typing?

Lizthebiz@SeecTom Chicken or egg… I’ve never been any good at writing but learned to type at 14yrs old. Now I avoid writing so I don’t practice it

So there were people out there with a similar outlook to writing, in fact you could argue that the concept of the written word is actually holding us back. Just because I can’t spell a word or fail to use the correct grammar does not mean that my sentence has any less importance. Once written a word cannot be changed, which is a lovely dramatic statement but hardly helpful to someone with a learning difficulty.

What I mean by this is that why should we engage with a medium that more often than not makes it harder to communicate by not offering tools to support and aid the user?

I remember writing essays on paper during school before computers were wide spread and I’ve lost count of the number of times I had to start it again because of making too many mistakes (thus making the content harder to read) .

Word processing makes it easier for both the writer and the reader, the written word is just a barrier that only hinders and is just as much a tool of separation as when it was the tool of the religious and intelligentsia.

A word processor aids formatting, spelling & grammar, ensures that the writer is able to make adjustments and corrections without having to start again.

It is the single most important e-learning tool of our time.

In writing this article I made over 27 spelling and probably quite a few grammatical errors.

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