Today (well actually yesterday now cos I couldn’t post this at the time) I read this article from the BBC news on the ‘slow death of handwriting’, which was a bit of a shock I have to say. A sad state of affairs when we are no longer used to writing anything by hand, and the terrifying possibility that future generations may learn about us only by the computer data we leave behind, and won’t even be able to interpret these ‘strange symbols’ on a page. Even worse when we realise that this is no exaggeration. That it is true that in many jobs people can go for months if not years writing only the odd note or phone message by hand. That the recent troubles experienced by Royal Mail might partly be put down to people more often using email rather than good old fashioned letters to communicate.
I have friends who refuse to accept what some would call the inevitable demise of the letter, and resolutely keep writing, and in doing so encourage me to do the same (well it would be rude not to reply..). But I also know that when I try and write for a sustained period of time, I find myself getting fed up of how long it takes to form the words, I miss letters out because of trying to get to the end too quickly, and my hand gets tired much sooner than I’m sure it used to in school days.
Maybe we are losing the ability to write. Gradually, without realising it. And maybe we need to do something to prevent this from happening. A challenge for lent then- write a letter to a friend. Even just a card with a message in it. A small token which will brighten their day to see some post that’s not a bill or junk, and which will make you slow down enough to communicate your thoughts the good old fashioned way!