Published On: Fri, Dec 27th, 2013

Wright to the Point

By Jonathan Wright

It’s hard to guess what technology will make available to us in 2014, but you can be sure there will be a good assortment of new innovations.

I can envision a time in the future in which we’ll look back wistfully and say, “Remember when cell phone texting required that you use those tiny, tiny keyboards? The keys were so small—phew! You could use only your thumbs to type a message. Boy, I’m glad those days are behind us!”

Let’s face it, folks—cell phone keyboards are a hassle, and their days are numbered. They have to be. Somewhere soon, hopefully in this upcoming year of 2014, someone is going to come up with a device that’s going to make today’s cell phone keyboards the equivalent of the old-fashioned crank adding machines of long ago.

I know—the average teenager and young adult can type on those things at lightning speed, it seems, so what’s the problem? I’m sure that if I texted as much as they did, I could get pretty fast at it as well.

But the bottom line for me, the heart of the disparity, is my firm conviction that it just doesn’t seem right to have to type with one’s two thumbs.

It’s kind of demeaning, bordering on the—dare I say it?—pathetic.

Oh, and primitive too.

That’s basically it.

One of the subjects I teach in public school is keyboarding, or typing, and I’m therefore very adamant about using proper fingering at all times while typing.

Thus, it grates against everything I stand for as a typing teacher to take my cell phone and use only my thumbs to type out a message. It’s just not right, and no amount of rationalization can make me feel differently. If only my students could see me—I feel like such a hypocrite.

I don’t know if eventually the cell phone keyboard will be eliminated altogether in favor of voice-recognition messaging or if some other imaginative alternative will be developed. At any rate, something inevitably will give. We just can’t go on like this forever.

For me it can’t come too soon. In the meantime, while I’m waiting, I continue using text-messaging as little as possible.

I have my dignity, you know.

Besides—my thumbs have better things to do than frantically pecking out letters and numbers on a minuscule keyboard.