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How My Cell Phone Made My Handwriting Sloppy

Updated on May 29, 2015

Less Reasons To Write

I didn't have to "write" papers in college. My professors wanted them typed in 11 point font, double-spaced.

I didn't have to write checks anymore, thanks to online banking and debit cards.

I didn't have to scribble letters on paper to friends and family anymore. We have email for that.

Because of direct deposit I didn't have to endorse the back of my paycheck.

Filling out job applications- all done online.

Why buy a day planner when I can just use the calendar on my phone or on my Outlook?

And since I was a married woman I didn't even have to jot down my phone number to give to some tall, handsome new friend.

I didn't even have to write in a journal. Blogging was it!

Most of the time I can't find a pencil or pen when I need one. I have ink pens that I bought years ago and they're still full of ink. I think of all the work my elementary school teachers put into making sure I wrote my upper and lower case letters neatly and with correct form. I remember my third grade teacher making me stay in from recess one day to practice writing my letter m's in cursive. It seems they had one too many humps. All that work wasted. It's almost as useless as geometry.

My Handwriting Became Illegible

About 2 years ago during an especially stressful time in my life I started keeping a hand-written journal. I had blogged before but this way seemed more therapeutic, more comforting to me. There was something about curling up in bed with my notebook at the end of a long, hard day. But I noticed that my handwriting had become sloppy and unstable. Actually, it was illegible. None of the letters were consistent and I didn't recognize the hand as mine. I didn't use to write like this.

I started paying great attention to the way I formed my letters when I wrote. This ended up backfiring because it stopped my thought process and I ended up not fully venting my frustrations on the page. I was too fixated on the weakness of my fingers and their inability to control a pen without applied effort. What used to be second nature had become like practicing my script in second grade all over again.

I had not forgotten how to form my cursive letters or what they were supposed to look like. I just could not get my hand to do what my brain knew it could. I decided to ignore my sloppy penmanship and keep writing but I still could not get over the fact that my once beautiful cursive script looked a lot like my 10-year old son's writing. After a couple of weeks I flipped back through my journal and noticed that my penmanship had greatly improved. I could read my own handwriting now. I recognized my own hand once again.

I thought about how I had fewer and fewer reasons to scribe anything with my hands over the years. Even at work everything was computerized except for the occasional signature needed to approve a form for a client or an absence note for one of my kids. Things happened so gradually that I never even noticed that my need for manual writing instruments had become nearly non-existent.

Has this happened to you?


Tips For Handwriting Practice

With fewer reasons to pick up a writing instrument in the 21st century you will have to make your own opportunities to write by hand. It is easy to forget that just because something can by typed out doesn't mean it has to be. Here are some ways you can put your penmanship into practice:

  • Write out your shopping list and 'to do' list instead of using an app on your phone.
  • Write a nice letter to a company whose product you love.
  • Leave written love notes for your sweetheart to find around the house and in their car.
  • Write down your entire list of contacts from your cell phone in an old fashioned phone book. How many times have you lost or broken your phone and can't remember an important phone number?
  • Write a note of encouragement on nice stationary and leave it for a stranger in need to find.
  • Start a written list of movies you have not seen but would like to. Maybe designate a little notebook just for this purpose.

Has dependence on technology weakened your handwriting ability?

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Submit a Comment

  • Motherbynature profile image

    Motherbynature 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    Sriparna, I definitely recommend exercising your handwriting. Your good penmanship will return with time. I never thought mine would come back but it did. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • sriparna profile image

    Sriparna 5 years ago from New Delhi

    Very relevant hub, I feel exactly the same. Writing becomes so painful, when I have to do it, my elbows and fingers have become quite cumbersome and I also had a good handwriting once when I was in college, my peers used to borrow my notes. I had written long letters to my friends and relatives when I was in boarding pursuing my PhD, how everything changed after technology became a part and parcel of my life. I think I should consciously start writing my thoughts on paper on a regular basis, I need my manual dexterity back. Thanks for sharing!