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Survey: Average Adult Hasn't Written By Hand In Last Six Weeks

This might seem alien to those of us who pick up our pens daily, even if for just a few moments, but apparently weeks can go by between writing sessions for the typical adult.

Docmail, an online stationery and business forms service, commissioned a survey on the writing habits of British adults and received some gloomy results.

According to the Daily Mail:

The research...revealed that the average time since an adult last wrote by hand was 41 days. But it also found that one in three of us has not had cause to write anything ‘properly’ for more than six months.

Two thirds of the 2,000 respondents said that if they do write by hand, it’s usually something for their eyes only with hastily scribbled reminders or notes most common.

Also from the survey, one-third of British adults have positive feelings toward handwriting, but would not want to do it every day. And one out of six said they didn't think handwriting should even be taught in school.

But here's the big question: Do you buy this?

My answer is a resounding, 'No.' Not entirely, anyway. I do believe most people are probably unsatisfied with their own handwriting and that there are many who prefer 'writing' on their phones, tablets, etc, simply for the convenience. But to go nearly six weeks without writing down anything?  Just not plausible.

When was the last time you were in a workplace, any workplace, and didn't see pens lying around? Everyone from store clerks to carpenters to office workers need writing instruments on a fairly regular basis to perform their jobs. After all, someone has to be using the billions of pens that are sold around the world every year, and they can't all be school children.

So far, I haven't seen anything that reveals who conducted the survey for Docmail or what methodology was used.

It's interesting to note that the survey was commissioned by a business that revolves around the automation of paperwork. As the Daily Mail quoted the company's managing director, Dave Broadway, 'Handwriting will always carry a sentimental value but inevitably makes way when it comes to the need to be efficient.'

This might just be a case of finding exactly what they wanted to find.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Survey: Average Adult Hasn't Written By Hand In Last Six Weeks”

  • John the Monkey

    "This might just be a case of finding exactly what they wanted to find."

    Nail on the head, I think. Michael Marsh of Merseyside Skeptics has done a lot on the rise and rise of the survey & press release in British news, and how they can be set up to give a result that's both headline worthy, and favourable to the company wanting the PR coverage.

    This reads like a fairly typical example to me, although obviously I've not seen the methodology, survey questions &c.

  • John the Monkey

    Sorry, Michael Marshall - I confused his online name (Marsh) & real name :)

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