My views on technology and social media have caused a bit of a stir amongst my family and friends. This is nothing new. My opinions have always been strong, if you haven’t already noticed. But on this issue I feel I need to explain my position. I don’t expect anyone to agree with me. My beliefs and experiences are probably different to yours but you might be interested to know where I am coming from.
It is not that I am against social media or technology. Look at me, I’m writing a blog on the internet. I am resisting what I think social media and technology is making us become. I think newer developments should complement what already exists, not replace something that is doing a perfectly good job as it is. I do not want to become reliant on something. It is not just that (I believe) social media and technology is making us fat, rude and inconsiderate but also ignorant and under developed. We are at risk of relying on it as our only form of communication.
My first example is handwriting. This is a basic form of communication. It goes back as far as cave drawings. My grandmother has the most beautiful handwriting of anyone I know. She learnt to write with chalk on slate. If it wasn’t correct she would get whacked over the knuckles, the slate was wiped clean and she would have to write again.
Today, most schools insist on computers. The only problem with this is that final exams are still hand written. In order to pass the handwriting needs to be legible and the points made clear. This is one of many reasons why I think handwriting is not just an important skill to hold onto but essential for effective thinking and communicating. Not enough studies have been undertaken to fully understand the importance of handwriting and analytical thinking and psychological development. Here are a few opinions of note:
“I feel that one must learn new things and technology is growing with leaps and bounds, but some things cannot be substituted and writing is far effective for the development of the brain to be considered a hassle. Handwriting affects our personality, our thought process and brings out our talents, or deep layered fears and study even shows that changing the handwriting has profound effect on the personality, also known as Grapho Therapy.”http://worldofhandwriting.com/printive-vs-cursive-writing/
“Handwriting increases brain activity and hones fine motor skills.” Karin Harman James, assistant professor in the department of psychology and brain science at Indiana University
‘… research has also shown that forming letters by hand may engage our thinking brains differently than pressing down on keys.’ Virginia Berninger, Professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington. Quoted for THIS article.
And HERE is another, from the Wall Street Journal.
‘Handwriting engages different brain circuits then keyboarding. The contact, direction and pressure of a pen or pencil sends a message to the brain. And the repetitive process of handwriting “integrates motor pathways into the brain.”’ Katya Feder, adjunct professor at the University of Ottowa School of Rehabilitation.
And here is another interesting article. There was just too much information that I wanted to quote so it is easier to link it HERE.
HERE is an interesting opinion from a social media site.
I just don’t think you can develop one area without it having a direct effect on another. It is basic physics. Newton’s Third law, “For every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.”
Other examples of this is the development of e-mail had a direct effect on the postal service, though this has been countered with the increase of internet purchases. Kindle has had an effect on the publishing industry and the sales of actual books. It has also increased the demand for erotic fiction. So of course texting, typing and social media is going to have an effect on our handwriting and thinking skills as well as our means of communicating and how we interact with each other. Yes, I can see the benefits, but I’m not willing to agree that it is in fact any better…
As this post is getting rather long and I am only half way through making my point I will leave it here for now and continue next week. Please feel free to comment and let me know your views. I am not willing to back down on this but if you would like to offer a counter argument I am interested to hear what you have to say.