The Pen is Mightier Than the Tech by Penn’orth


by Guest Writer Penn’orth

Now that the idiocy of Christmas (well, maybe the ‘hype’ part of it) is consigned to be an unpleasant memory, I can make a stab at having a go at this modern innovation known, for whatever reason, as a blog. It struggles into life as a hotch-potch of fleeting ideas, experiences, over-hearings, snippets from TV and radio, cuttings from newspapers and, dare I say, from the evil dimension that is the Internet too. Unsurprisingly, for me, preliminary musings are given substance using (fountain) pen and paper, this being for me, the way my brain commits the ideas into existence for future perusal and consideration thus creating the basic building blocks that I can re-arrange to create meaningful and informative sentences. Not having the intrusion of automated spelling checkers interrupting the parade of ideas and concepts that blossom with the stimulation of putting pen to paper. I realise that I must transfer these words to a word processor to enable the wider world to benefit from my wisdom or completely ignore my ramblings.

The very act of writing down with pen and paper creates a more stimulating environment for remembering and understanding, as has been discovered in numerous experiments and studies worldwide testing the success of people recording information in remembering and understanding the information they were recalling. Those who used the ubiquitous tablet to record a conventional lecture (without other apps active on the tablet so there were no external distractions) were far poorer in recalling the detail of the lecture with comprehension equally poor. The students who used traditional methods i.e. pen or pencil on paper scored much higher in understanding and detailed recollection with scores improving with time when measured 4 and 8 weeks later. Those who used Tablets had little comprehension at all.

Pen a pad and a phone

If you would care to prove or disprove the benefits of using technology then can I suggest trying the ‘shopping list’ test?

Use your Smart Phone to enter in an everyday shopping list with say 10-15 items. When finished, leave the phone on the kitchen table and go off to your usual shop. When you get there, see how many items you can remember.

Return empty handed and write out a shopping list using pen and paper. Leave it on the kitchen table and off you go to your usual shop – when you arrive you will usually be able to recall at least 9 out of 10 items!

Ironically, if you write out a list and put the list into your pocket or handbag, the shopping is generally carried out without reference to the list, other than with a glance at the list when all items had been collected and you are approaching the checkout!

Smart phones have their uses – but you can’t beat pen and paper.

Weekend Press reports that Grannies now only get Texts to say ‘thank you’. Should they lead the way with thank you notes written by themselves and sent to their grandchildren?

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