Chinese people used to say that seeing a person's handwriting was like seeing the actual person, that a personality could come through on paper.
However, traditional Chinese phrases along these lines seem no longer applicable in an era where everyone types on keyboards, iPads or cell phones instead of writing with pen and paper.
Many like to express nostalgia for the time when friends and families wrote letters to each other. But at the same time, only a small number of people bothered to put their thoughts to paper. And if this is the case, is it necessary to care about how we handwrite?
Heroes of handwriting
Nowadays, the situation of having a pen in hand but forgetting how to write a particular Chinese character has become commonplace.
The media discourse over this topic has generated all sorts of opinions from the public as well as language and education experts.
Some say that the Web 2.0 age has made young people lose interest in the beauty of traditional Chinese characters and sayings because of informal, social media-friendly shorthand, while others blame the emphasis placed on Chinese kids to learn English, claiming that students have spent too much time studying English rather than Chinese.
In response, the entertainment industry has taken up the task of stimulating an interest in handwriting.
This summer, two TV programs about handwriting boosted the audience's interest in Chinese characters.
Created by iqiyi.com, an online video platform, and Henan Satellite Television, The Hero of Hanzi (Chinese characters) began on July 11 and concluded on August 30, attracting high ratings throughout its run, according to CSM Media Research.
Similarly, the audience feedback for Chinese Character Dictation Contest, a program produced by CCTV10 in which contestants are asked to write Chinese phrases based on what they hear, was also positive.
The show placed among the top three TV programs in prime time, with a 2.16 percent share, behind popular reality shows The Voice of China and Super Boy.