Pen and paper.
In the age of technology, it’s something most people take for granted. Gone are the days of pen pals and hand-written ‘Thank You’ notes, folded papers passed around the classroom and love letters spritzed with fragrance. All that and more has been replaced by means of electronic communication: emails, texts, tweets, and status updates now connect us all on one giant web, making the once-beloved pen and paper seem archaic and obsolete.
Written communication can be traced back to the dawn of civilization, when grand tales of hunts and conquests were painted on the walls of caves, forever embedding the story of man into our history. These stories lacked words, and yet they vividly communicated a message that can still be understood today. This was the birth of written communication, a way for us to exchange messages without ever having to speak.
Since our barbaric caveman days, we, as humans, have evolved in our means of communication. We moved on from painting pictures to more advanced methods, such as letters and numbers. The accomplishments and ancestry of pharaohs were scribed upon sheets of papyrus and the walls of tombs. The Ten Commandments of God were etched into stone tablets, forever giving us the foundation for the laws of Christianity. Tales of heroes such as Odysseus and Hercules, the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, and the works of mathematicians, astrologers, poets, and scientists…The very foundation of civilization itself has been based on these means of written communication.
So at what point did we replace the ancient practice of writing with technology? Have we become so lazy that we’d rather have a computer do the work for us, with its fancy spell-check and reference notes from the World Wide Web? And more importantly, has this replacement laid to rest the practice of setting pen to paper?
Writing is so much more than words on a page. To some, it’s a privilege that’s only given to those with wealth and status. To others, it’s an honored occupation, a way of life, recording the life of emperors and nobles. There’s a certain depth achieved not by what is written, but by how the words are penned. Pencil, quill, even the thick bold lettering of a child’s crayon…they all say so much more than the 12-point Times New Roman font ever could. But, in the age of computers and cell phones, the voices of pen and paper have been drowned out by the clicking of the keyboard.