On the Subject of Handwritten Blogs And Reinventing Interpersonal Communication
I recently have become addicted to taking class notes with my Surface Book and OneNote (though there are apparently two OneNotes…OneNote Windows App and OneNote 2016…But that’s TwoNotes!). The Surface Book stylus just glides effortlessly on the screen, and the variety of color and personality of handwritten strokes just make annotating class notes and drawing diagrams and visualizing core concepts all the more interactive.
Sometimes I write journal posts in OneNote. But I wonder, would blogging be good, worse, better, or bad if blog posts were handwritten?
I’ve seen people try this before on Tumblr or their own websites. Literally handwrite sheets of binder paper with their thoughts, take photos of these scribbles and then upload them to their personal corner of the interweb.
I think there is something authentic and unique about the handwritten blog post (anyone else notice the irony that this is not handwritten…).
Well, maybe it should be.
I remember being in elementary school learning about how to write in cursive, and then understanding just how differently everyone writes out letters and numbers. Some people write big and bubbly, others slanted. I also remember those forward chain emails from the early 2000’s that would decrypt your personality and predict your future all based on how you write by hand. Something along the lines of you are on the edge when you write with a forward slant…(what does that even mean?). Buzzfeed coming clutch with a Buzzfeed quiz on handwriting.
But I also feel that in today’s age, handwriting is something few people other than college students or teachers use to actually communicate ideas or write down thoughts. I mean how many people even keep a diary?
I’ve considered keeping a personal audio diary / journal. Take an audio recording every day, and title each with increments of the day (Day 0, Day 1, etc.). It also seems more personal, plus it’s almost like you are leaving yourself a voicemail everyday about how great or disgusting your day was. Through thick and thin, you can always be your first best friend. Like an audio yearbook that you don’t have to share with the world or get signed by all of your crushes…
But journaling or diarying every day just feels like trying to keep up with birth control pills (though I have an IUD — educate yourself — so I can’t actually relate) or sticking to a strict diet (if you’ve ever tried the South Beach Diet I am sorry for you but you’ll understand). It’s hard to remember to do it everyday, and when you miss one day, you feel like the world is ending, you have no sense of consistency in your life, or you’ve failed at accomplishing a small yet personally important goal just once a day (future me — don’t trust yourself with managing kids, you might forget to pick them up from daycare).
But that’d be a chore, wouldn’t it?
Handwriting is also like a unique ID, a fingerprint of our existence, a story into where we’ve come from and how we learned to communicate with others. Some people say that ugly handwriting is an indication that you may be emotionally volatile or have emotional baggage.
For this reason, I can understand why handwriting blog posts may make people vulnerable or self-conscious of their writing and external perception.
The consistency of typed posts puts all writers on the same playing field. It allows readers to focus on the writer’s content and writing structure. Introducing a new variable of style through handwriting might skew people’s opinions as to the author’s personality, perspective, privilege….I don’t know, something worth thinking about.
On a complete tangent, I remember listening to this 99% Invisible podcast called Ten Thousand Years about how communication and language changes over time, and the power of symbols. If you were faced with warning a future population ten thousands years in the future that there was harmful radioactive material right under the ground where they stood, what language or communication would you utilize to convey this information?
You can’t assume they’d speak English, or understand sarcasm, or even have the same understanding of symbols as you (what, are you an expert in deciphering hieroglyphics?). It’s really a fascinating issue. Being forced to come up with a new way to communicate and effectively get your point across, especially with people’s lives on the line.
Back to blogs, could we apply this same thought process to how we currently communicate our opinions, reviews, or personal stories online? I know we have podcasts and typed blogs and visual albums and Tumblr channels, but is there a way to make this universal? No need for translation?
Beyond handwritten blogs (which I find to be extremely personal and reflective of thought and void of insane revision), I imagine a blogging experience where we share series of photos or pictures intertwined with audio and senses (should we introduce an olfactory blog…). Wait am I just describing videos?
Bottom line — I respect people who take the time to write handwritten notes, and especially those who choose to place these nuggets of thought on blogs like Medium for the world to embrace. Write in pen and don’t erase, let the world see how you change your mind and embrace the frailty of human thought and hand writing.
And consider that our current communication models may not be enough in the future. Your blog could be the next hieroglyph of the future, and your thoughts potentially lost in the chaos of evolution and redefinition of humanity.
I’m looking into creating a handwritten blogging platform that will make highlighting handwritten blogs easier (like Medium), and allow users to search through handwritten blogs for certain words! What an innovation.
Maybe Medium will beat me to the chase.
Until next time, fellow creators. I’ll try and post a handwritten piece of mine to share.