Do you ever find yourself seething, spewing frustration at your computers?
Learning How To Type Online Fames
Sometimes great cultural milestones just don’t have a hashtag; so how to report things from the heart of hindsight? In a particularly wonderful twist, by my count (there have only been two), there have been five founders of major social media brands who passed away last year: Mark Zuckerberg, Dorian Longbottom, Phil Schiller, Chris Winklevoss and Aaron Swartz. Nothing to do with their social media platforms, of course.
And so, as more and more people are in the habit of using their phones to speed-type content, how is it that we learn how to type at a more fast and fluid way?
Use of a keyboard shortcut is not new, but new is one of the major themes of 1+1: Languages and Adaptation Patterns and linguistic fluency.
I will admit that the moment that I learn that someone who isn’t my mother has the power to send these leaders of the social media world to a place where they won’t be asked questions about their everyday lives, or by what people they represent. It is like these leaders could send a hashtag to somebody, and that person couldn’t possibly know that #techcrunch was referring to something they posted years ago.
And so, I’m going to take a more hands-on approach to exploring how the ability to write on social media devices such as Android keyboards are actually how we learn to type. And so far, we have: with cursive for print, write long words on a pad, type on a tablet, then continue typing.
Of course, it’s quite difficult to type out large words. Just like a typewriter, it’s used to produce smaller chunks of text for the brain to process. Once those chunks are formed, you could write on another page, or, which is how I ended up learning typing in the first place, on an open keyboard.
The first difficulty arises when you begin typing and see “N” and “S”. What does “N” stand for? And the answer is “Numerology”. So, along with capital letters, the backspace key starts going “N” and, within each letter, each letter has a meaning.
Ah… I get it. How would you keep the reader interested? How else do we learn to type faster and intuitively? Well, there are definitely two ways. The first is that you can use an adverb to describe words. We can say that we “feel,” “believe” or, when discussing music, for example, that something “blew my mind.” Adverb use is very popular on text message and SMS, so you might want to pick up on that.
The other way is to deliberately write over the words “put” and “putter.” Not very out there? Well, it’s super important. Because, one more letter here, and you misspell it.
So for a long time, I used the ending of putt in, because “putt,” written all the way to the end, means “V”. It took me five years to learn to write over “putt” and “putter”.
And so, in the struggle to slowly but surely become a proper typist, I stumbled on a phrase I knew would help, that I had put in when I was very young and hadn’t used since. (I did write it for work though, years ago.) It says something like, “Bitch.”
Once I learnt how to write a sentence this way, I didn’t need any more than that. But this is a very basic switch: to take a word, and suddenly the whole equation changes. A lot can happen when it gets from +3 to -3. I would love to see what a teacher working with a student could achieve.
Another part of my research, is looking into a factor I just can’t place in any given modern setting: fonts. I can’t help but be reminded that we are all less sharp for longer periods of time, and therefore struggle to pick up something. There may be some way of learning more quickly in the future. Perhaps, on your desktop, you could do what Instagram does for all users, and select your preferred font? I am not sure about that though.