Digitalisation of Written Content : Friend or Foe?

In this world where technology or overpopulating our desks and minds it is easy to lose track of ones core values and skill. We often refer to the past as „a simpler time” and yet here we are with a gadget and an app for almost anything we could ever need. This has escalated to a point of such laziness that we even neglect the most basic skills we acquired as kids.

What changes when you change the format?

In this industry a lot depends on your online writing skills. Typing for the web is a completely different process than the creation of a hand written letter for example. While it loses the tangible and personal quality of a hand written piece, written online content is the format we prefer nowadays due to it’s efficiency, but are we aware of the impact this modernisation has?

Typing in education

As time goes on the list of schools, even countries, that do not consider writing by hand an obligatory skill, for example, the Finnish school system is removing cursive writing from schools starting 2016. The main reasons for this change being, that typing is a faster, more efficient way of documenting information therefore it also promotes productivity, exercises fingers and allows to easily add visual or audible materials and make sharing easier.

Typing Vs Writing

Sounds great, doesn’t it? In spite of that, a study with more than 300 students from Princeton and the University of California showed, that students who took notes by hand were able to reply to questions asked during a lecture better than the ones taking notes using electronic gadgets. Scientists explain this fairly easily : when taking notes on paper, the student is forced to condense and rephrase the information in his mind before writing it out to save time. By doing this students automatically process the information, summarise and remember the gist. In contrast to that, students that typed their notes using keyboards were able to document almost a transcript of what the lecturer was saying, leaving them with a larger amount of information that did not possess an associative way of remembering. So while it may seem like the smarter choice to rely on the efficiency of digital documentation of information, the human brain still finds it easier to memorise through associating specific hand gestures and self-interpreted format of information.

Impact on creativity

As for creativity. Some online sources show that not only does your way of documenting information influence your memory of the content, but it also changes the content you produce. While the restriction of your creative endeavours through text is seemingly individual and does not limit your expression verbally, creative writing is a personal process and seeing a hand-written text from an author impacts us on a completely different scale as opposed to seeing the same content digitally.

What do you prefer?

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