It was once the only way to declare your love, pour out your thoughts or, simply, jot down a to-do list.
But these days the phone is far mightier than the pen as more of us turn our hands away from writing to typing.
One in ten Britons say they haven’t handwritten anything at all over the past year, according to a survey.
And the young are so glued to their gadgets that 11 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds say they have never even written a shopping list.
Yet, despite the move to digital, handwriting still hasn’t lost its charm as two thirds admit it is more ’emotional’ than tapping something out on a gadget.
The survey, by family history site Ancestry, asked 2,000 Britons about their writing habits.
One in ten Britons say they haven’t handwritten anything at all over the past year, according to a survey
The survey, by family history site Ancestry, asked 2,000 Britons about their writing habits
It found that half prefer to write on a computer, tablet or phone – citing communication speed and efficiency among the main reasons why.
One in five also prefer to go digital for spelling features like auto-correct and predictive text.
Emails, texts and social media messages have also found favour over traditional letters – with a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds admitting they have never penned one.
Forty per cent of that age group have also never written a love note and a quarter said they have never kept any kind of diary or journal.
Many added that they have never handwritten a postcard, memo or card – and 13 per cent admitted they have never even written a to-do list.
Half of Britons aged between 18 and 34 claim it is not possible to properly express themselves on paper and feel their social media profiles better reflect them.
In spite of this, nearly half of Britons surveyed said they would like to receive more handwritten letters from loved ones and four in ten wished they sent more.
Over the past year, cards and shopping lists were the most common items people wrote by hand.
Graphologist Tracey Trussell said that someone’s handwriting ‘can tell you so much about [their] identity’.
She added: ‘There is so much to be uncovered through a simple signature or pen stroke.’
Simon Pearce, of Ancestry, said: ‘Handwritten documents and signatures form such a huge part of the historical records at Ancestry.
‘Through looking at examples of our ancestors putting pen to paper, we can make shape of who they were and the way they left their mark on the world.’