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Why Handwriting Matters in a Digital World

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Peggy Post is a director of the Emily Post Institute, author and great-granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post.

It's part of our identity

I’m all for digital communications, but I do think cursive writing and the handwritten word is important. When we receive something written by hand, it’s so much more personal and warmer. Writing notes by hand can be a great way of enhancing relationships; thank-you notes, in particular, are especially meaningful to recipients.

Handwriting is part of our identity. Your handwriting—and your signature especially—is you—it’s part of your personal image, and it makes you unique.

I understand that times change—maybe cursive will go the way of the landline phone—and it may be superfluous to know how to write in cursive in an age when many now type notes on their phones. But cursive is part of our culture and traditions, and it can also be an art form.

Handwriting is so special that technology is even trying to replicate it. We’ve all seen labels that look to be in cursive—on holiday cards, or wedding invitations for example. There is even a robot that promise to pen letters in your handwriting. Certainly, there are many efficiencies brought by technology, but I think there’s still beauty and art to actually putting pen to paper. That may even be why such technology is invented—in an attempt to beautify our digital communications.

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