It’s no secret that a handwritten note is a thoughtful way to show someone you care. Penning a message in birthday cards, for example, is more meaningful than sending a social media post. However, writing by hand is beneficial for more than fostering relationships – it can boost your brain power, too. Sure, technology has its own way of challenging the mind, but when it comes down to writing by hand versus typing, it’s better to ditch the computer. Find out why:
Build a better memory
College lecture halls are filled with the click-click of students typing at their keyboards, but recent research has determined that this may not be the best method of taking notes. Of course, many of today’s college students can copy a lecturer’s words down via keyboard much faster than – dare I say it – “old-fashioned” pen and paper. However, typing won’t be much help when it comes to taking the test.
According to a series of experiments conducted by a Princeton University psychology graduate student, writing notes longhand is better for remembering and synthesizing information than typing them on a keyboard. The study found students who typed tried to copy the lecturer’s words verbatim whereas those who wrote longhand were forced to summarize the presentation because of the extra time it took to write by hand. Apparently, this was the key to success. Even after looking back at their notes, those who typed on a computer were still not as successful as the hand writers at recalling information.
Engage your brain
We all use both the right and left sides of our brains on a daily basis, but many of us utilize one side more frequently than the other. Writing by hand, specifically in cursive, engages both sides of the brain in one sweeping motion.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a study conducted at Indiana University evaluated the level of brain engagement required for writing by hand. Researchers used MRI machines to spot neural activity in the brain while kids performed letter-learning activities. The study showed that kids who practiced printing by hand demonstrated more enhanced neural activity that was similar to that of an adult than the kids who just looked at images of letters.
A handwritten note in a birthday or congratulations card does more than send a sweet message – it can boost your brain power!