Let the craft of writing not die... and how blogging can help

If I tell you that people are writing less than they used to write a generation back, you would perhaps not agree. You might say that even if writing on paper seems to have gone down, writing on the web and social media has more than compensated it.

The total weight of written words has definitely gone up due to rise in population, much higher level of economic activity and much much higher content generation on the social media. People are sharing content and commenting on social media all the time and generating billions of words a day, but if we exclude short and transitional content on social networks and chat apps, perhaps not much of substance is really being written.

Add to that the trend of sharing feelings and events through emojis, photos and videos. Use of photographs on the web picked up with the advent of digital cameras, then cameras being available on mobile phones, then mobile cameras became high-tech. After 3G came on smart phones, enough bandwidth became available for uploading and downloading images and videos. Simultaneously, social platforms made it easy to share videos. 

The trend towards videos is only rising and pundits predict that by 2022, overe 80 percent of web traffic will be in the form of videos. 

Add to that the coming of virtual assistants and improvements in speech recognition technology. These developments are making sure that talking to a machine would replace most of the writing that we do. That means, in a few years from now you will not need to write/ type out things unless you force yourself to do so.

blogging aids learning and writing

Having videos and photos to express yourself is fine, more so as it is less burdensome and more efficient than expressing in written words. But there is this very dark side of the coin: people - especially the young ones - are seen developing a dislike for writing. If you find this statement of no significance or too sweeping, I request you to read on for another one minute. (Again, you might not like to read further... because it also is in text and not as an image or a video!)

It is documented after studies that children's capacity to write and do maths has been decreasing over the years, and the phenomenon is global. Many teachers have written on their blogs and have shared in other places that kids do not like to write essays or do creative writing. Since writing skills beyond those needed for the subjects of the curriculum do not pay in terms of better marks in higher classes or in employment, parents also do not see any value in teaching writing skills to children when they are in lower classes.

Juxtapose that with how languages all over the world are growing: many non-English people have stopped communicating in their mother tongues and many languages that do not have value in finding employment or influencing marketing decisions are being shunned by the new generation. So, the market is driving the adoption of English at the cost of native languages.

Come back to writing. Since the market and socio-technical forces are going against expressing oneself in the written word, the will to write will diminish by the day and would find few takers for native languages. There would be very little inducement to write, and only a bunch of people would continue to express themselves in writing. If the trend continues, the toddler of today - when she becomes a teen and has all the gadgetry and virtual assistants in her command - would sure abhor the idea of writing or even  reading.

Does blogging improve writing skills and overall learning?

Blogging can be a very useful tool in the hands of young and old alike for expressing themselves in different ways including by writing down their feelings, logic, ideas.

Children, when induced to blogging at an early age, have been found to enjoy writing. Empirical studies have shown that students' ability to express themselves improves significantly - and that applies to small kids as well as university goers - when they start blogging. Many examples of how children's focus, confidence, team-spirit and creativity have improved after they adopted blogging can be seen on educational blogs (edublogs) and academic discussions on the web on blogging and education.

Children who enjoy blogging are also more likely to appreciate others' creativity and develop a natural appreciation of arts and literature, which lead to more humanized humans and more evolved civilizations.

Adults' writing abilities see improvement when they start blogging: not for money but for expressing themselves. Besides improving their writing skills, blogging gives them confidence as a writer. I have seen a number of bloggers who have published books after blogging on the subject for a while, many are able to write on the mainstream press based on their blogging experience. (Well, let me share that the three books that I have published recently are in a way the outcome of my experience as a blogger.)  

I have shared a number of articles in this blog on how children benefit from blogging, how a grandpa or grandma found purpose in life after they started a blog, how blogging have given a new life to people diagnosed with serious ailments and so on.

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