Writer: Catherine S.
Visual: Chloe Q.
Editor: James Y.
As many cope with demanding coursework, students opt for numerous study techniques to keep up with the academic rigour. Taking notes is considered to be one of the basic techniques in studying. Research shows that writing notes is an instrumental strategy to store and process ideas as a long-term memory, especially for hand-written ones. According to Anne Mangen and Jean-Luc Velay’s study on the effects of notetaking, the hand’s engagement with the information allows the brain to receive feedback from a person’s movements when writing notes by hand. This facilitates memorization and helps recognize and form connections between concepts when reading or writing. Furthermore, as writing notes by hand takes longer, the temporal aspect is also believed to influence the learning process.
Sharing notes is not a preserve of the current generation of students, it has continued from the long tradition. However, as the digital age expands, sharing notes has taken place through the internet, especially through popular study communities like Studyblr and certain hashtags, such as #Studygrams on social media. The massive popularity of the note-taking community exemplifies the current study trend: emphasis on aesthetics.
Studyblr is a Tumblr community where users share their notes, study tips, and organization through blogging. According to an ISM anonymous Studyblr user, Studyblrs are great ways to make friends with similar interests and compile notes of students with shared classes. Users blog in Studyblr by taking pictures of their notes, and occasionally posting study tips as well. Like many popular social media influencers, popular bloggers do giveaways on notebooks and highlighters. Also, users would do a Q&A session, where people can question and share tips on how to make their notes more aesthetic. The study-focused community acts as a center-place for inspiration and motivation, encouraging students to aspire higher and work harder.
Instagram has been an important part of millenials’ lives and has become a platform for people to share beyond their everyday lives. #Studygram has taken to become a greater influence in study trends. Classic #Studygram posts are embellished with calligraphy, pastel color highlights, and neat handwriting. Users share their favorite pens and use #Studygram posts to motivate each other, oftentimes using the platform as a chance to track their productivity. The #Studygram posts have evolved to become a platform to share and reflect one’s productivity.
As the platform gains massive popularity, some students start to worry about its actual effectiveness. Since aesthetics seem to be the main focus of the trend, beauty may dominate the content of the notes. There are users who believe that the community is unrealistic, as it is difficult for students to devote time and energy into decorating their notes when enormous workload makes it impossible to create such notes. However, these study platforms empower students with the motivation to work harder, showing the firm determination of today’s students to constantly develop and improve oneself.
Borreli, Lizette. “Using Pen And Paper, Not Laptops, Boosts Your Memory.” Medical Daily, Medical Daily, 7 Feb. 2014, http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-using-pen-and-paper-not-laptops-boosts-memory-writing-notes-helps-recall-concepts-ability-268770.
Mangen, Anne, and Jean-Luc Velay. Digitizing Literacy: Reflections on the Haptics of Writing. INTECH Open Access Publisher, 2010.
Tiffany, Kaitlyn. “Welcome to Studyblr: a Beautiful, Stressful Wonderland.” The Verge, The Verge, 9 May 2017, http://www.theverge.com/2017/5/9/15260026/tumblr-study-blogging-studyblr-organization-interview.