The Advantages of Using a Typewriter
My first experience with a typewriter was four years ago in a bookstore. I’d seen them before in movies and shows with courtrooms but never in real life. I sat on the small wooden stool, gently raised my arms, and felt the large button like keys one by one. I admired the complex-looking mechanics and fiddled with the miraculous machine before beginning to type out my thoughts. The experience was short, but a vivid memory was seared into my mind that day… don’t press two different keys at the same time.
Although we are in an overall technologically driven world, the use of typewriters is still ongoing. From electric typewriters to the more traditional type-bar typewriters, the numbers have definitely gone down, but they are still in use today.
The first typewriter dates all the way back to 1868, and the most current ones were made in 2020-2022. Both models look completely different. The older one has a carriage release lever, typebars, and paper fingers to keep the paper in place, whereas the modern typewriter has almost none of those features besides the keyboard!
Typewriting is seen as a thing of the past since it is much less convenient and more difficult than using a laptop. However, there are many pros to using a typewriter. Here are a few:
Force Thinking — When someone is using a computer, their mistakes are easily erasable to the point where you can just click to fix the mistake. This is not the case with a typewriter, which doesn’t allow the user to erase mistakes without manually taking out the paper and using whiteout. This may seem excessive, but it will help writers write confidently and will drastically reduce their number of mistakes.
Slow Down — Forcing the mind to think hard about what the user would put down on paper when using a typewriter requires tremendous focus; it will require you to slow down and really look at what you’re typing. For me personally, when I was given the chance to type on a typewriter, I thought it’d be easy. “It’s just like typing,” I thought. “How hard can it be?” Until I actually did it. There is much more space between keys. Being accustomed to pressing backspace every few sentences messed me up when leaving unwanted spaces or periods.
More Fun — It can just be a neat experience to use something so “ancient.” Some lesser-known writers have stated that using a typewriter “cured [them] from writer’s block” the moment they picked it up. Along with these benefits, you take away the chance of being hacked and have physical evidence of your work.
Overall, this experience overlays nothing but benefits, and it’s not mandatory; it’ll help strengthen writing skills (punctuation, decrease in writing errors, and a different typing pattern) and will be a new and exciting experience for writers—and for anyone—to use a typewriter.