Historian, David McCullough, was recently asked about writing letters: “We don’t write letters on paper anymore. How will this affect the study of history?”
His response was interesting…
“The loss of people writing – writing a composition, a letter or a report – is not just the loss for the record. It’s the loss of the process of working your thoughts out on paper, of having an idea that you would never have had if you weren’t writing. And that’s a handicap. People I research were writing letters every day. That was calisthenics for the brain.”
Yes, one might argue, that our society does write everyday. But take a look at the quality of text messages and emails being produced. You’ll soon realize that we’re not exercising our brain as much as we’re reverting back to a time before we knew how to communicate at all – when everything was gibberish and rambling.
Sadly, children today know little about properly writing letters because they have little practice doing it. Why spend time gathering your thoughts and formulating emotion into words when you can write things like LOL or TTYL?
Technology is basically turning our minds to junk – doing all the thinking and processing for us and stunting the brain activity so many of our ancestors practiced.
When asked if he still uses a 60 year old Royal typewriter, McCullough replied, “I’ve written everything I’ve ever had published on it. It’s a superb example of American manufacturing.” And a great lesson that sometimes the old school approach to life is still the best way.