The trend towards typing among teenagers can help kids become better writers, experts say.
Russell Watson, who founded Sunshine Coast Typewriters, said he had seen an increase in interest among young people looking to buy their own typewriters – particularly among students with ADHD.
“They seem to be above technology and just like the idea of being able to type on a typewriter,” he said.
He said teenagers and young adults were swapping computer keyboards and word processors for the tactile “click” of mechanical writing in what was the renaissance of the typewriter.
He said students with ADHD have “really taken to” typing because it’s more physical, more “immediate” and offers fewer distractions than digital typing.
“It’s the whole tactile experience of typing — it’s not just a keyboard,” he said.
“It’s the sound of the paper, the clanging of the bell, the opening of the box, and knowing that what you’ve written cannot be hacked, cannot be erased.”
“The kids went crazy”
Mr Watson said he first noticed the typewriting trend after the popular spin-off of The Addams Family, Netflix’s most-streamed English series of all time, was released on Wednesday, in which the main character owns a typewriter.
“I was getting inquiries and I kept getting, ‘My daughter is interested in a typewriter,'” Mr. Watson said.
But it wasn’t until he delivered six typewriters to a Sunshine Coast teacher that he realized the potential benefits for students, especially those with ADHD.
“The teacher reported after a week about these typewriters and one of the children [with] ADHD, she really struggled to get her to write a sentence,” Mr Watson said.
“[But she] he wouldn’t get off the typewriter. She just adored him.”
Griffith University education expert Kathy Gibbs said she could see how typewriters could benefit students with ADHD, but she wasn’t sure if the benefits were sustainable over time.
“Using a mechanical typewriter or a manual typewriter, they have to really focus on writing the words they want to use,” Dr Gibbs said.
“They’re going to have to focus and concentrate on the task at hand, and there are no other distractions on that typewriter — other than the keyboard in front of them.”
A trend worth exploring
Dr Gibbs, who researches ADHD in teenagers, said typewriters could become a useful teaching tool in the classroom.