Most children are still taught how to produce neat handwriting with weekly lessons on how to form letters starting at the beginning of primary school, but these lessons not seen as a priority for many teachers and are often left out of the weekly timetable. The marking scheme for SATs still includes marks for neat and legible handwriting. And whose children are not already adept at typing by the time they reach high school?
But who still writes letters? Well, my children write the occasional thank you note although it can hardly be called a letter, and I often send a postcard or note to friends rather than using the phone or email (I think it's more personal) but I can't remember the last time I actually wrote a proper letter.
I used to keep a stash of love letters from The Great Love of my Life (not my ex-husband...ahem) which I destroyed when I got married, but I used to take great pleasure from reading and rereading them and reminiscing about our time together. I can't imagine getting the same pleasure from keeping and reading love emails, or looking fondly at a love text.
This reminded me of a recent conversation with the Teenager-in-Waiting which happened when I received a letter through the post from a friend:
Teenager-in-waiting: What's that?
Me: A letter from Tony.
T-i-W: Why has he sent you a letter? Why didn't he use the 'phone?
Me: I'm not sure why he didn't use the phone but he had some news he wanted to share and I imagine he preferred sending it in a letter.
T-i-W: But why didn't he send you an email?
Me: He doesn't have a pc.
T-i-W: WHAT? Why not? Well, why didn't he send you a text?
Me: Well, it's quite a long letter as you can see, so it would have been too much to send by text....and anyway, he doesn't have a mobile phone.
T-i-W: WHAT?!!! No mobile phone, and no pc? How does he manage to live?
Apart from all the new technology that's available we have also got used to sending - and receiving - quick, convenient messages to people, and the thought of sitting down and writing out a letter seems like a lot of hard work sometimes.
So, is handwriting dying out? Do you still put pen to paper and write letters? And is the art of handwriting still important in this technological age?
Image from here