As much as we love to hate autocorrect, are we willing to text without it? Now, I'm not referring to spell check, which many of us depend upon in our daily computing and writing to highlight mispelled words and suggest corrections. I'm talking about autocorrect or autofill features on our phones which predict what words we're typing and help us get there faster. And seemingly dumps the most inappropriate words into our texting conversations - resulting in horrifying or simply embarrassing conversations.
I've thought about disabling autocorrect and taking my chances with my clumsy thumbs, but I must admit that I prefer the autofill feature to actual typing.
A writer for Slate.com, Matthew J.X. Malady, must have felt similar frustrations, and asked some friends and co-workers to join him in an experiment: Turn off your autocorrect for a week and see how you'd rather
live er text. Eight suckers joined him. They could keep spell check if they wanted, but by turning autocorrect off they would find whether predictive text is preferable, or the true pain-in-the-arse it seems to be.
Malady reported on Slate: "I loved the new approach to texting. I appreciated that, instead of my phone dropping out-of-context words into my messages without me realizing it, the device just showed me my spelling mistakes and let me decide whether to fix them. Sometimes I did, and sometimes I didn’t, depending on the recipient. I felt much more secure in knowing that what I typed and sent was actually what I meant. And while it did take a bit longer to compose messages, the difference was not so great that it became a huge burden."
A co-worker was ready to resume autocorrect after day one, saying there were certain autocorrects she didn't miss, but she preferred not having to manually fix typos and capitalization.
Another friend missed the way her phone would correct her mother-in-law's name, Patty to party. Which I have to say, I would get a kick out of too. She also found that she did less correcting than she did when the phone would "correct" words for her.
Overwhelmingly, most participants were eager to return to autocorrect and autofill, claiming fat thumbs caused more work than the corrections. They complained that without the feature, texting took longer and was more tedious. Of the eight participants, only one gave up autocorrect for good.
Personally, I'm glad someone else tested it out. As much as I curse the mistakes that make me look stupid, it's good for comedic effect. But maybe I'll test it on my own. If my phone could remember most used names and other words, I'd go for it. I like sending proper spelling and capitalization, since I'm a writer by trade.
Would you test this experiment in your texting life? Or is it not worth it to find out?