Digital technologies have considerably changed how information is created and shared. Information that was traditionally available on paper can be found in digital gadgets such as smartphones with a lot of ease and incredible convenience. Also, smartphone technologies have replaced the traditional pens and notebooks. One can draw, write and edit information as they may wish by simply tapping their fingers on the screen of their smartphone. In spite of the amazing features of these technologies, many people still prefer pen and paper as a medium of writing. In this essay, I present a position that it is better to write the old school way of pen and paper than use digital technologies.
It is not in doubt that digital technologies have enabled us to write better. Using smartphone tools, one can write faster on platforms such as the Moleskine notebook. The platform allows users to create information electronically and sends it conveniently to persons they may wish to share such information. However, the problem lies with the other uses of a smartphone-it is a gadget that is mainly used to make calls and send text messages. This means that one can be disrupted by calls or messages now and again while creating content on the phone notebook. As a result, concentration can be affected unlike in writing on paper where one has the choice to avoid disruption by switching off their smartphones.
Due to the potential of disruption from calls, text messages, video messages and other forms of messages, writing or reading on a smartphone could lead to low-quality writing outcomes. The level of concentration determines the outcome of writing or reading in the sense that it negatively affects how one interprets concepts before putting them down in writing. A lot of interruptions mean that the writer may be unable to plan and organize their thoughts well. On the contrary, writing on a physical paper fosters concentration since the writer has a conducive mental condition to plan and organize their thoughts on the subject that they intend to write about before actually starting the writing.
Writing on electronic notebooks is faster than the old school paper notebooks. This is because of the many smartphone tools that assist the writer in composing their work. On the flipside, the writer may fail to come up with a creative piece of writing. In her article, Why Reading on Paper, Scientifically, Makes us Happier, Kat Ascharya posts that writing on paper fosters creativity in planning and organizing work schedules. Although using the ink makes the writing process slower, such pace it encourages creativity and thoughtfulness. In other words, the writer spends more time in designing their write-up without feeling the pressure to finish writing for fear of possible call or text interruptions.
At the same time, paper writing "provokes different kinds of thinking". That is, it promotes the development of original ideas as well as enables one to brainstorm solutions to issues if they were to write on how to carry out a given activity. The originality of ideas fosters memory and also encourages the cognitive development of learners. Although electronic devices offer better tools for faster execution of the art of writing, they inhibit originality of ideas and even undermine memory due to the development of 'laziness' in grasping concepts. Put simply, people do not want to remember ideas because they know that they can retrieve them from the digital sources on demand. In so doing, they fail to appreciate that information acquired cognitively is more useful in handling real-life situations than electronically stored information because natural memory provokes instance response to life situations. In the same vein, evidence suggests that writing on paper improves the performance of students. According to Ascharya, some teachers have even gone ahead and required students to respond to their academic assignments on paper due to the cognitive benefits such platform gives learners.
Anything physical creates a lasting memory on an individual. This is due to established tendency that "humans seem hard-wired to attach memories to physical objects"( Ascharya n.p). Text messages can be erased, or it may sometimes be difficult to retrieve them from the smartphones on real-time, especially when the battery is low. Conversely, the book or a paper-based writing material gives that physical feel of reality and sense of connection to the writer. This explains why many parents prefer paper in helping their children to learn the art of writing and drawing. Even though digital gadgets can facilitate writing and drawing for children, the allure of video games and other children-related entertainment applications often consume their time at the expense of learning. On the contrary, the paper has no features that would distract children. In effect, children's learning skills develop better with the use of paper than digital gadgets.
One of the most common effects of digital technologies is isolation. Nowadays people spend less time engaging in face-to-face communication than before. In a family context, the use of digital gadgets to write has the potential to lead to loss of emotional connection among family members. Only one person uses the digital device at a time. As a result, other children and parents may not access the smartphone while it is being used by one of the members. This situation creates isolation. In contrast, a paper-based object gives families a sense of community. For instance, a parent can use a paper to help children write or draw or handle their homework. Given this method, the children can always have a less-distractive source to make references about homework guidelines provided by the parents. Even in cases where children are many, paper-based objects can serve them without risks of breakage or batteries running low. In the end, everyone in the family gets involved, fostering a sense of togetherness.
Digital gadgets have made it possible for readers to access information from any location in a convenient manner. Also, these gadgets allow users to create content faster than paper-based mechanisms. However, paper-based tools have been found to have more advantages compared to the digital devices. For one, they foster the creativity of the writer/ reader. The originality of ideas in paper-based writing promotes cognitive development of learners which in turn enhances their performance in school. This is achieved through improved memory of concepts. Further, paperwork promotes individual planning and individual responsibility as people tend to remember what they have written on paper. Moreover, paper objects instill a sense of community in a family setting because of frequent face-to-face interactions. This may be a surprise to you in this digital age but is apparent that writing or reading using old-school tools such as pen and paper makes people happier than relying on the digital devices such as smartphones.
Ascharya, Kat. "Why Reading On Paper, Scientifically, Makes Us Happier People." 2machines, 2018, 2machines.com/188186/.
"Digital Vs Paper Round 1 - Is There an APP for THAT?" YouTube, 15 Mar. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4BM5058-sg&feature=youtu.be.
"Paper Notebooks Vs Smartphones?" YouTube, 8 Nov. 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YeVxMNUmo8&feature=youtu.be.
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