Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

Typing v. Handwriting: Which Would You Choose?

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2014 Jun 12

Typing and “quick communication” have taken over our lives.

From the endless emails that are part of many of our jobs to text messages asking if someone can pick up bread and milk on their way home, typing has largely replaced handwriting.

Scientists are beginning to warn us that this move to all things technology isn’t completely beneficial. Last month The Boston Globe’s article “Taking notes? Bring a pen, skip the computer” connected handwriting with memory retention. Last week’s New York Times article, “What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades,” highlighted the link between writing by hand and the boost it gives to educational development.

Handwriting’s benefit to relationships

I want to highlight another advantage to handwriting not mentioned by these news stories – the benefit of hand-written notes to our relationships.

Perhaps it’s because typing things out is so easy and effective that we naturally gravitate to conveying information through this means. Yet life is so much than work deadlines and reports and our last-minute grocery lists.

Every day, we do life with the people who matter most to us in this world: our parents, spouses and children. Our brothers and sisters. Our dearest friends.

When it comes to sharing our heart with them, and how much they mean to us, it would seem to me like typewritten notes can sometimes fall short. There’s just no way a text, email or even a typed letter can compare to the intimacy and vulnerability conveyed by a note lovingly penned by hand. When we read handwritten items, we can get a sense for the writer’s personality and state of mind. We can see how much emotion went into the message. There’s a completeness of experience that accompanies holding a piece of paper the writer once held.

Give your loved ones the gift of a handwritten letter

On tomorrow’s broadcast, “Leaving a Legacy Through Letters,” we explore the beauty of leaving our loved ones the profound gift of a simple letter. Greg Vaughn, founder of a ministry called Letters From Dad, shares how he grieved over the fact his father never left him a written blessing, and how God turned that sense of loss into a quickly growing ministry. Lyndy Edwards, our second guest, shares how her husband’s letter to her became a precious keepsake after his sudden death as a result of an accident.

I hope you tune in tomorrow. You can listen to our broadcast via your local radio station, online or via our free, downloadable mobile app.

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