- If you're at The Wall Street Journal, you see this as "the end of civilization as we know it," although I think Anthony Daniels is kidding.
- If you're at The Atlantic, you worry a little more about "how handwriting builds character."
- If you're Karin Harmon James, a psych professor at Indiana University, you talk about how "handwriting increases brain activity, hones fine motor skills, and can predict a child's academic success in ways that keyboarding can't." (The quotation is from the article and not from James.) What's disturbing is that James is talking about printing and not cursive in reporting this result: "The printing practice also improved letter recognition, which is the No. 1 predictor of reading ability at age 5." Eliminating practice of writing would thus have a negative effect.
But I've discovered something disturbing: I don't much like to write by hand any more, and my handwriting is getting worse from disuse. This is almost as disturbing as discovering that I pay better attention to the books I read on the iPad, even though it's not as easy to mark them up as it is with a pencil. This feels like another kind of tipping point, and I'm not sure I like it.
Has that happened to you?
*Names chosen from the most popular names for 2011--no offense meant to any actual Sophies or Ethans.