The idea: I wanted to message friends using calligraphic texts for one week.The average 18-to-24-year-old sends and gets something like 4,000 messages a month, which includes sending more than 500 texts a week, according to Experian. (I was 24 at the time.) Before I started, I established rules for myself: I could create only handwritten text messages for seven days, absolutely no using my phone’s keyboard.
I got my first mobile phone when I was in high school. I powered off during classes, and charged my phone three times a week.
It was 2005, and the feeling of “cool” overwhelmed me. Today, I use my smartphone so much that I can’t imagine leaving the house without my charger.
But it wasn’t until I conducted an experiment to learn calligraphy that I realized how deeply technology affects my life and my relationships.
I decided to blend a newfound interest in calligraphy with my lifelong passion for written correspondence to create a new kind of text messaging.
It was like back when texts were rationed, and when I lacked anxiety about viewing "read" receipts.
I didn’t feel naked without having my phone on me every moment.So while the experiment began as an exercise to learn calligraphy, it doubled as a useful sort of digital detox that revealed my relationship with technology.Here's what I learned: Receiving handwritten messages made people feel special.The awesome feeling of receiving personalized mail really can be replicated with a handwritten text. I found I could give words a certain flourish to mimic the intonation of spoken language.Expressing myself via handwriting could also give the illusion of real-time presence.One friend told me, “it’s like you’re here with us!