You’ll be shocked to discover who favors old fashioned ink and paper over digital composition

I’ve been teaching writing to students ages 12-16 for the past three weeks. Seven students in all. Every one of them is an excellent writer. A couple are legitimately gifted.

Two surprises:

  1. Five of my students write with a paper and pen and couldn’t imagine writing on a computer or tablet, at least for their first draft. Only one writes exclusively on a laptop (and she writes primarily for the Internet), and the other switches between pen-and-paper and her phone.
  2. A different five read almost exclusively from old fashioned books. Paper and ink. One reads exclusively on a tablet. The last switches between formats.

I was stunned when I saw these teenagers scribbling in journals and flipping through through pages. It’s not what I expected.

A month ago, I was walking down a long line of people waiting to attend a Moth StorySLAM in NYC, and I was both surprised and pleased with the number of people standing in line, passing the time by reading ink and paper books.

Could this be a sign that people are seeking a greater balance between digital and analog?

I hope so.