These days, we use e-mails and SNS apps to communicate, and we type more than we write. This blog post is just another example.
I recently received a letter from a friend on my birthday. I see this friend occasionally, and we talk to each other via e-mail, so I was surprised and asked him, “Is everything okay?”
Apparently, he just started learning calligraphy, and he had an assignment to write a letter to a friend.
Normally, I would let it slide after being relieved that his letter had nothing to do with anything serious. However, not wanting to miss a rare opportunity, I decided to reply; with a letter.
I was ready to write, when suddenly I felt a wave of anxiety. It’s scary how we get used to new things and forget previous methods so quickly. I finally began to write, but I couldn’t seem to remember characters that I definitely knew!
What did that character look like? I wondered. Next thing I know, I was consulting the dictionary. But, I couldn’t find the word I was looking for. I never liked looking things up in the dictionary. Usually, I would search the internet using my mobile phone (smartphone) whenever I would come across a character I didn’t know.
Computers and smartphones are certainly making life easier, but I myself was once the “analog” generation. Everything is becoming convenient, and so we start to neglect time-consuming activities. Not being able to consult a dictionary made me realize that convenience lowers our abilities to do basic things.
There are some primary schools that have compulsory tablet lessons in their curriculums. I sometimes hear that these lessons will one day become nationally compulsory.
When I was in primary school, pencils, dictionaries, and “abacuses” were mandatory. However, recently more and more schools are taking “abacuses” out. We can see how rapidly school environments are changing.
I understand the logic that students need tablet and computer skills so they won’t be left behind when they start to work. Nonetheless, both children and adults should spend time on “analog” activities more so because of the expansion of the digital era.
Receiving e-mails is nice, but it does not exceed the excitement of receiving a letter.
A new resolution; from now on I will write the occasional letter.