Where would we be without our children? I know my kids wonder on a regular basis how I get through life without their ongoing guidance, but every now and then I wonder too. Yesterday was one of those days.
I went out to lunch with my husband and his daughter, Lauren. We were discussing phones, a somewhat routine conversation piece. He asked me how I am enjoying my relatively new Samsung Galaxy S4. I didn’t want to complain knowing how lucky I am to have a really cool smart phone so I said, “It’s fine.” He said, “You don’t love it?”
No, I don’t. Every text takes me 3 times as long as it did with my iPhone, because I have to continually re-text the words since the wrong keys register, as if my fingers are huge monsters that are out of control. Big deal the screen is bigger, which is why I got the Samsung initially, but all a larger screen does is highlight my spelling errors – ALL of them! – and the by-product is now bigger-than-ever illegible messages. I’ve tried 2 keyboards: the Samsung keyboard which doesn’t do auto correcting and then after my husband’s Google search, we experimented with the Jelly Bean keyboard which utilizes auto correct but not very accurately, especially if the keyboard picks up the wrong first letter of the word. I’ve also tried positioning the keyboard horizontally so the letters spread out, but the space is too wide for me to comfortably navigate.
I answered his question by saying I have trouble typing readable texts, and then Lauren asked if she could give it a try. I was sure with her slender fingers she’d have no problem hitting the right keys. Plus she uses two hands whereas I use just one so people more adept at bilateral hand usage may find this product very satisfying. I would’ve bet the end result of her experimentation with my phone would be that I’d have to learn to reposition my fingers and touch the screen more or less gently (a crapshoot), thereby slowing me down dramatically and, I assumed, still leaving me frustrated.
But guess what happened? Gibberish on my phone once again, this time by Lauren! Imagine how relieved I was when I saw her quizzical reaction. She felt my pain.
I am lucky that her mind, like my husband’s, moves toward solutions vs. trashing the system, which is what I’d been doing in my head for months. Not a minute went by before she introduced me to Swype-style texting, which allows the texter to draw a line from one letter to the next with one long motion.
I could see her sliding her fingers around and smiling while explaining to me the proper technique to get the desired results. I was hesitant to embrace this idea at first since I’m not good at drawing, evidenced most recently by poor results at Pictionary. I also questioned in my own mind why there’s always so much we need to learn in life.
Then it was my turn. She asked me to text her. The movement felt like Connect the Dots. Easy as pie. No editing required.
This seemingly small change has made a big difference in my world. I’d begun to dread receiving texts because I’d want to respond quickly, but it had become too time-consuming and agitating to do so. Often I’d start, see nonsensical words or phrases on my screen and quit altogether. Or I’d decide to email a response at a later date, but then I’d forget.
This upgrade is a real game changer.
Thank goodness we have children.