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The disappearance of handwriting as a mirror of a changing society

The end of school, in addition to being the culmination of an important chapter in anyone’s life and the beginning of a new one, also marks one of the last times when we are inclined to use handwriting. Homework, tests, essays and papers. Then, once we cross the threshold of that building that for so many has enclosed everyone’s hopes and dreams, habits change, including that of an age-old practice.

The evolution of society and the advent of new technologies have changed the way people live their daily lives, facilitating certain tasks and completely disrupting others. Smartphones, tablets, computers. Today, everything is more simplified, especially from the point of view of accessibility. The consequence has been to have made people more accommodating. Minimum effort, maximum result. Often, however, reality has more facets than can be discerned at first glance. What glitters cannot always be considered gold.

Having dropped contact with handwriting has had ambivalent effects. While it has led to the acceptance of new methods of expression, it has also alienated society from an activity with great benefits, with negative consequences discernible as early as elementary school. If at the university it is no more surprising to discern branded errors in terms of handwriting, with the confusion of different writing styles, from cursive to lower and upper case print, also due to incorrect pen grip and increased use of digital, the same cannot be said in the early stages of learning.

Benedetto Vertecchi, a professor of Pedagogy at Roma Tre University, to prove and disprove this, wanted to conduct an experiment, involving third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from two schools. For a period of about three and a half months, the pupils had to write texts of a few lines on a daily basis, for a total of fifteen minutes a day, without imposing the use of cursive, simply for the sake of training handwriting and not digital writing.

At the end of the experiment, the results were remarkable, with marked improvement in graphical, spelling and vocabulary, reflecting how writing improves perceptual-motor coordination, attention, concentration, exercise and memory enhancement. Habit, as well as training, are crucial. In addition to the psycho-physical benefits, handwriting can be a rewarding and enjoyable activity, resulting from the concreteness of seeing on paper the outcome of one’s skills and the creativity that dwells in everyone.

January 23 marked International Handwriting Day, a practice of which Aurora Pens is a leading exponent and supporter. The products of the Turin-based company, a leader in the fountain pen sector, represent an excellence of the Italian territory.
Mediability, always attentive to digital evolution and new technologies but aware of the importance of handwriting, supports this age-old practice by following Aurora Penne’s social communication entirely.

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