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Impact of electronic devices on handwriting

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I saw that bad handwriting should be regarded as a sign of an imperfect education- Mahatma Gandhi.

By: Dr Firdoos wani
Handwriting is an essential skill for both children and adults. Writing by hand stimulates the brain more than typing.This is due to the fact that it requires more complicated physical and cognitive abilities. Because it stimulates the visual perception of letters, itenhances reading fluency as well. Itpredicts success in other areas since it has a beneficial influence on grades.
People are judged by their handwriting.Long after graduation, good penmanship is vital. In the contemporary world, people from all areas of life are evaluated based on their handwriting. Writing a shopping list, composing a birthday card, jotting down a phone message, completing a form at the bank, and filling out immigration documents are all aspects of our daily lives that require handwriting. Therefore, it is exposed to others and may be utilised to form opinions about us. Handwriting is essential for taking notes. Students of all ages must take notes by hand since it increases their focus, comprehension, and performance. Notes taken by students must be self-legible; otherwise, they are useless.
Handwriting is essential to the production of innovative, well-crafted content, affecting both the flow and quality of the composition. A child can focus on the higher-level features of writing composition and content when he or she can create legible writing with ease, speed, and minimal conscious effort. Children who have mastered it are more skilled and imaginative authors. Numerous standardised evaluations are based on written work, especially timed writing.
Without legible and rapid handwriting, pupils will miss learning opportunities, underachieve, and possibly fall behind. Many formal qualifications continue to evaluate candidates primarily based on their handwriting.
Technology is often a wonderful thing. There are numerous possibilities accessible for both adults and children, including options for work, play, and pleasure. By design, technology is captivating and leaves users wanting more. Children and adults alike use smartphones and tablets for a variety of reasons, but is there a downside to spending too much time on electronic devices?
Despite there being a variety of positives to technology, there are also various negatives, one, in particular, is negative effects on writing. Academic writing quality, in general, has been decreased because of the application of short forms in writing. And, this has substantially been linked with the use of short text messaging applications. Childrens’ reliance on electronics often has negative effects on handwriting too. As children reach school age, they are required to possess particular pencil-holding and -use skills. They are also expected to possess a vast array of other functional abilities. While handwriting may appear to be a simple undertaking, a wide range of core abilities are necessary for its successful completion. For example:
• Being able to sit at a desk and write requires children to use core strength for maintaining their position in the chair.
• Wrist mobility is required for maneuvering the pencil.
• Shoulder stability is required to stabilize their arm.
• Finger dexterity for moving their pencil accurately.
Children also require visual skills to attend to the board and/or teacher.
They must first see what they are expected to do and then focus their attention to their papers in order to complete the prescribed activity. The worry and consequence of children’s early exposure to electronic gadgets is that these core abilities are not established before they enter school.
One study the journal Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics published investigated children who were five years old who had no developmental delays. Forty of the children used touchscreen tablets for more than 60 minutes each week for a minimum of a month. The kids were provided with a 24-week fine motor activity home program that also had them use tablets. Another 40 kids (the same age) didn’t have the same amount of tablet use as the first set of children did, and they were given a 24-week program that consisted of manual play activities.
Once the program was over, the researchers found using a touchscreen tablet for a lengthy period of time may be disadvantageous to preschool kids’ fine motor development.
The initial approach is to restrict screen time. Playing your children’s favourite tablet game in “real life” can help bridge the gap between outside play and tablet gaming. As children become more comfortable with gross motor play, they will desire to participate in these activities more frequently. You can discuss other suggestions with your child’s pediatric occupational therapist during your child’s upcoming pediatric occupational therapy session.
The author is Doctorate in English Literature.

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