In "The Case for Cursive," (NYT [April 28, 2011]), Katie Zezima states that:
For centuries, cursive handwriting has been an art. To a growing number of young people, it is a mystery.
The sinuous letters of the cursive alphabet, swirled on countless love letters, credit card slips and banners above elementary school chalk boards are going the way of the quill and inkwell. With computer keyboards and smartphones increasingly occupying young fingers, the gradual death of the fancier ABC’s is revealing some unforeseen challenges.
This immediately reminded me of the lamentations that have been widely voiced over the loss of the ability to write Chinese characters by hand that has been occasioned by the same technologies.
The difference between the impact of computers and smartphones (also mobile / cell phones) on cursive and on characters is that, in the former case, it is a loss of motor skills and esthetic sensitivity, whereas in the latter case, it is increasingly often the inability to produce many characters at all, whether clumsily or handsomely.