Is handwriting really declining, and do adults really not use it very much?
About the "decline": I can see that fewer people write messages by hand, but the poor quality isn't a new thing, is it? All of you who've read handwritten letters from earlier centuries can attest to the fact that some have that whole Palmer Penmanship down to an art form as if Sister Mary Agatha is still watching, and some, well, don't.
About use: The "decline in use" is probably true, but "write very little by hand"? Is this true in academe? What about essay tests? Annotating books? Taking notes in class? Commenting on papers? I know--it's possible to do all these by typing, but it's actually faster to do some of these by whipping out a pen.
When I ask students who write poetry how they write it, it's often with a pen. In other words, one kind of writing that means something to them is writing they do with a pen.
Since Time is happy to provide proof by anecdote, maybe we can follow its lead: Do you think that handwriting is really "dead"? Does most people's yearly output of handwriting consist of a couple of postage notes and a thank-you note or two?
*Do you really care when she entered third grade? No? I rest my case.
[Edited to add this, because of Carl's comments: When I was at the archives this summer, one of the librarians said, "Your handwriting is so legible! You must have taken calligraphy!" It isn't usually that legible, but I felt as though she'd given me a gold star. Maybe handwriting instruction went out with gold stars?]
Update: Sisyphus, in the comments, has a good perspective on the article:
The article is not about the death of handwriting, which she says is an umbrella category, but of cursive, claiming that people born after a certain point just never stuck with cursive anymore.
That's totally true in my case ---- I write things out by hand all the time, but I never use cursive. Everyone I know who's roughly my age prints things. And I even had an old-school mother (much older than everyone else's) who decided my cursive was so bad that for an entire school year she fought me by making me practice cursive for hours after school every day.
I had never thought of this as a generational thing and had conflated the two-- writing = cursive--but Sis is absolutely right.