Sometimes people tell me I am old-fashioned, like there is this old spirit living inside a young body. I still read hard copy books and … basically that’s it. And I don’t freaking use AutoCorrect! Sometimes I swear I feel I’m the only one. Am I? But maybe it’s just me and I should use it.
First of all, I want train my brain into writing all the words and making all the mistakes by itself, without any help needed. It helps my memory, my “typing” memory (muscle memory if you want it like that) and also I feel independent — If I were to rely only on AutoCorrect to spell my thesis and suddenly the world turned back to sticks and stones, without technology, I won’t feel desperate that AutoCorrect was not there to “help” me. My brain is my AutoCorrect.
These may be thoughts only in my head, but other people say it as well. When one ticks the autocorrect version of a word or an expression, it will not embed in our brains, no. It’s just an action without any real effect than dumbify us, if such word even exists. I would be indeed happy if technology, in this case, helped us absorb knowledge more effectively. However in this case, I clearly see it in the people around me: not only they carelessly type and then rely immediately on AutoCorrect to spellcheck, but they don’t even READ the corrected version to see if it actually fits. Which leads, sometimes, to correcting the AutoCorrect. Damn!
Spelling is an acquired skill, right? It is supposed to be constantly challenged throught our lives, as a learning process. But how do we exactly learn out of AutoCorrect? The way words form and remain in our brains is not being helped by sloppily hovering a mixture of letters (=word) on our phones or even our tablets. It’s not repetitiveness, association nor observation.
Second of all … it is annoying, really! For me, at least, I admit. Whenever I want to use someone else’s phone to write a message I have to keep my nerves under 0 degrees Celsius because it turns me mad how slowly I get to actually type because of my mistrust and despise in AutoCorrect. It’s like when parents tell you what to do and how to do it — only this time it’s on a small device like your phone, and it can be stopped by turning if off or disabling it. It’s enough people already put words in our mouth, why should AutoCorrect do that too?
Lastly, it is true that our brains are so witty that they can trick us into understanding jumbled words and editors and writers have to use cheats to hijack their brains when proofreading texts, for example. For this one I really love The Guardian’s article that explains it far better than I do. Hence in this case, I understand, at the root of its existence, that AutoCorrect is a poor function meant to help us. My question is: does it really, for a long-term purpose?
What I do instead of using AutoCorrect (when I must) is either look up words in the dictionary and read them and try to memorize their spelling or meaning or I simply take a moment to acknowledge what I’m actually trying to convey. But I guess not all of us can afford the luxury of taking a moment.
Change is indeed difficult to accept and, old spirits, can feel trapped and lost on the way to the technological revolution. I am totally aware of that, I don’t cope very well with technology that aims to replace/improve my body’s functions. I’m not saying we shouldn’t “evolve” either.
It’s just that we are already prisoners of many gadget / online / social media addictives anyway, at least I don’t want AutoCorrect to be one of them for me.