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It is easy to hear some people say, "I use my computer to write e-mails. I use my cell phone to send text messages to friends. It is so easy for me to forget to write Chinese characters!"
This is not alone in one person's worries. There is growing concern that modern communication devices are threatening writing skills in many languages. Experts specifically worry about Chinese handwriting, a tradition nearly 4,000 years old.
More and more young Chinese are relying on computers, cell phones and other electronic tools to communicate. Over time, they become unable to recall the stroke order to write some characters. So writing by hand becomes more and more difficult.
Electronic devices aren't the first tools to threaten Chinese handwriting. Until the early 1900s, the calligraphy brush was China's main writing instrument. But when pens became popular, many people accused them of damaging the cultural tradition of calligraphy. Their concerns were valid. Today only a samll number of people still practice calligraphy.
Though peopel today get much less letters than emails, I still remain positive about the handwriting issue. This is a natural trend. You use your hands less, but you use your brains more.
Do you ever forget how to write certain Chinese characters? If so, does it worry you? Why or why not?
Are other parts of your culture being affected by morden communication tools? Try to discuss.