Is Handwriting Dead?

When I started my first day at my office, a coworker asked (begged, really) if my handwriting was decent, since we deal in note-taking a fair amount. The apologetic look on my face said it all; my handwriting is awful. Years of typing have ruined any chance of something legible coming out when I put pen to paper.

I feel vindicated in my poor handwriting, however, after reading the New York Times Bits Blog this week. They featured an article in Miller-McCune by an Oberlin professor named Anne Trubek who argues that handwriting is not necessary when typing is more efficient; it is more the culture concept of handwriting that keeps it alive.

It’s a fascinating essay, and one part really stuck out for me. Trubek discussed her son’s difficulties in school because he was required to learn proper handwriting, to the point where the poor kid was getting detentions over it! When she transferred her son to a private school that allowed his assignments to be dictated and typed, he began to enjoy school again. I feel very validated, as I had basically the same experience (though mine was a revelation in college, thanks to a palm M100 and an external keyboard).

Sadly (to me, at least), Anne Trubek doesn’t see handwriting disappearing entirely. Which is too bad if you write like me (or have to work with me!). What do you think? Is handwriting destined to be a niche skill in a few years? Do you prefer to type or hand write? Share below!


About the Author

Carly Z
Carly has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to her first PDA (a Palm M100). She quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. She loves writing about ebooks because they combine her two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?