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Pi Magazine 713 | Science & Tech

Writing or

Typing? I

Beatrix Willimont discusses whether writing by hand is better for our studies

t’s quite poetic to think that a pen and paper are void of purpose when they’re not in the human hand. They exist solely as tools to allow us to draw symbols to which our creative minds associate meaning. Computers, on the other hand, are not creative like human beings. They are controlled and ordered in a manner that promotes efficiency but arguably hinders the little insanities that can so often lead to great, unforeseeable outcomes. The author Graham Green once said: “My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My

hand on a pen does”. Green, having written over two dozen novels, clearly knows what he’s talking about.

vert my ideas into typed essays on my computer. If I were in the US, I’d probably just take the easier option and resort to Adderall.

Perhaps my personal hatred of computers is, ironically, beginning to spew out of my fingertips into my word processor. Personally, when I’m tired or hungover and desperately need to get work done, there’s nothing worse than staring at my laptop screen. My eyes begin to hurt, my brain feels like a kumquat, and my concentration becomes worse than that of a toddler in a toy store. I’ve begun resorting to a pen and paper to get my work started. The brainstorming made on paper seems to allow me to easier con-

Enter a generic coffee shop, and the majority of customers are using a portable computer. From phones to tablets and laptops, people are engrossed in their devices. It’s understandable that we are all so keen on our technology, they provide a feeling of constant connectivity.

exams measure our ability to be efficient, clear, and concise The problem with these devices is that they provide infinite opportunities for distraction and mindless divertissement. They are a vehicle through which we can attain almost any information. Perhaps this is also why we attribute great value to them, even if it may be at a subconscious level. Herein lies the problem. Computers are multipurpose devices, and the sheer quantity of options they provide us with, even just in terms of distraction, tends to prove problematic when attempting to use them for prolonged concentration and to obtain a coherent stream of consciousness. When it comes to handwriting versus typing, the big secret is that handwriting boosts memory. A 1990 study by Anne Cunningham and Keith Stanovich found cursive writing requires the use of more mental faculties than typing does, as we must shape

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Profile for Pi Media, UCLU

Pi Magazine, Issue 713 - Re:Generation  

Our third issue of 2015-16 explores our generation of millennial, and our collective identity. Why is our generation the way it is - what ex...

Pi Magazine, Issue 713 - Re:Generation  

Our third issue of 2015-16 explores our generation of millennial, and our collective identity. Why is our generation the way it is - what ex...

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