Why Writing Matters More than Ever

James Howe’s Keynote Address, “Only Connect: Why Writing Matters More than Ever in an Age When We’re Always Connected but Rarely Connect” resonated with me on many levels.  On an educator level, I constantly shake my head when I hear of children being babysat by video games instead of people.  Additionally, I’ve sat at many a restaurant and seen a group of kids sitting at a table together, but not talking since they were texting or talking on their respective cell phones.  On a personal level, I’m one of those people who still buys and sends birthday cards and presents to close friends.  In addition, I’d rather pick up the phone to share good news with friends and family rather than posting it on my Facebook wall.  We live in an age where technology substitutes for human interaction, text messages suffice for birthday wishes, and tweets inform our pals of engagements and new jobs; I’m starting to think we need to take a step back to figure out how to get the “technology thing” a little more right.

James Howe asserted that new technology diminishes our abilities to problem-solve since it’s about ease and convenience.  Additionally, he highlighted an imporant fact: less thought goes into our own words when we operate in the virtual world.

Here are the notes from Howe’s speech at last week’s Writing Institute.  Perhaps some of the things I jotted down while he spoke will resonate with you and will make you offer alternative ways of thinking about and using technology so we can use it to connect in a meaningful way.