Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tech Ruined Our John Hancocks

John Hancock signature on the United States Declaration of Independence
John Hancock's signature on the United States Declaration of Independence

Technology is killing the integrity of our signatures. When we purchase anything or sign for a delivery, we use technology that renders our signatures as nothing better chicken scratches. Matthew J. X. Malady, in an informative article in the New Republic, writes, "In addition to signing things less frequently, we're also signing in vastly different ways than before. Annoying and frustrating ways. We've all used those dreaded signature pads when paying for something in a shop with a credit card or accepting a FedEx delivery. Those things are infuriating, seemingly designed by the devil himself." He also discusses the history of signatures and their connection to literacy; we're now going backwards in a sense when our signatures lose their value. Yet another bit of "progress" at which we can only shake our heads.

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