The Demise of the Pen

Photo by Mark Baker

Photo by Mark Baker

Yes, I have a pen problem, but perhaps not in the way you might think. The problem is there are fewer and fewer occasions to use my pens, especially since the vast majority of my day is 100% digital. Working with a team with members both inside and outside of the firm means virtual communication.

How many documents do you even sign anymore? In fact, when an official document like a contract requires a signature, I often sign with a finger or stylus on a tablet. No paper required. Thus, Fare Thee Well, My Pen caught my attention. The pen may well be dead!

One result is that it is increasingly hard to find a nice pen store. My two regional favorites (Daly’s Pen Shop in Milwaukee and Century Pens in Chicago) have been lamenting the very same fact. Does scarcity mean the value of my collection will increase or be irrelevant? I’m banking on the former.

There are conflicting studies as to whether people learn and retain information better when they take handwritten notes versus those on a keyboard. That leads me to wonder if a stylus on a tablet has the same memory retention effect as pen to paper? What do you think?


3 Comments on “The Demise of the Pen”

  1. Vinod says:

    This is an educated guess… I think the stylus might have a similar effect as a pen in terms of learning. I think using a pen or any writing device is closely associated with the early learning one goes through as a child. So the very act of writing with a device may fire the learning pattern associated with it. When we first learn’t to write, we were also learning other things. These hard wired patterns may come to fore whenever we mimic a writing action, be it with a pen or a stylus.

  2. […] A previous blog post: The Demise of the Pen […]


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