Writing on a touchscreen is just…

Writing is still writing no matter the platform. It’s all about getting the words out, to give them a physical form be it on the screen or on paper. You can write on a piece of paper using a pen. You can write using your smartphone. You can write on your laptop or a desktop computer.

But what I have discovered is that writing on a touchscreen just feel weird and difficult. Some people no doubt won’t have any problems. It’s just not the thing for me.

I got the iPhone X. With its 5.8 inch, nearly edge-to-edge display, it’s way bigger than the iPhone 6s and 7 plus display I used in the past. That means with apps like iA Writer, I can see way more of the text with the keyboard below. The Super Retina HD display meant that text are sharp and clear. Writing on that device had been a joy.

Yet, whenever I tried to write long form, like a short story, my fingers do get really tired from attempting to hit the keys. My fingers are rather fat. Combine that with hyperhidrosis, it means either wrong keys are pressed and I need to hit delete or that the key presses aren’t registered like it should. It slows down my writing by a lot, which is irritating in a way if your thoughts is faster than the words appearing on the screen.

The other issue I have with typing on a touchscreen was the lack of tactile feedback. This is one of the reason why I prefer to write using a keyboard. The sound my finger hitting the keys and the clacky feel when you press the key just feels so good. I know you could enable haptic feedback on the phone such that every key pressed will give you a vibration. But that vibration is missing when you set the phone to silent mode via that switch. Not only that, vibration requires the motors in the phone to work hard and cause faster battery drainage. For the iPhone X, that vibration mode is no more and what you get is simulated keyboard clicks, something that you won’t hear if your phone is on permanent silent mode.

The third issue I have is having to deal with the weight of the device while typing. I know smartphones are small and consider rather light. After all you carry it in your pockets everyday. But it does become heavy when you are holding it in your hands for long period of time as you type. And that particular use case happens quite often if you are writing a long article, an essay or stories. Notes taking is fine actually because those are short burst action and probably won’t be doing it over 1 or 2 hours.

So those three reasons are why I will always prefer to write on a keyboard. And in order to do writings on the go, a portable typing machine is needed. Thus, I decided to reuse the 13inch MacBook Pro (2015) that was in storage. The 15inch MacBook Pro that I’m currently using is just a tad bigger and heavier than what I would like. You know what? Without the keyboard cover, typing on that classic chiclet keyboard is rather delightful. I could type equally fast on it.

And now I’m curious about what’s the primary device that you use to write everyday? And why.

Glass full or half empty

Glass half full or half empty? This is a general litmus test to determine a person worldview when it comes to life.

When a person says it’s half full, he or she could be optimistic about life.

When a person says it’s half empty, he or she could be pessimistic about life.

But what if…

I tell you that it is simultaneously full and empty?

To write, is to tell a story

Writing is a form of communication. It is a tool to help two person connect with each other, to exchange ideas or to entertain.

But these days, there are so many pieces of writing published online that are simply variations of listicles that has headings like, “ten different ways…” Or “five things you should do…” No doubt they allow for exchange of ideas but they are boring as fuck.

The biggest problem I have with listicles is that, they take away the individuality that goes into a piece of writing. They take away the humanity from writing. And worse, they don’t really tell the human story. They are like the sales report generated at the end of every month to show the bosses. It’s cold. Uncaring. I don’t want to read those. Period.

What I will read though is a piece of writing that tell the story about a human, his or her thoughts, what he or she sees, the experiences, and how he or she navigates through the world. Because I want to connect, or in other words, feel what the person is going through. I want to understand the human condition.

If not that, then the piece of writing is to entertain the readers by bringing them into an alternative world or life. Real life is boring and mundane. Sometimes, real life is a nightmare. Just like those sales report.

So to write, is to tell a story that either entertains, allow people to connect and share ideas, and not give people nightmares.


P.S. I was actually struggling the whole night about what to write because I couldn’t think of anything meaningful to write about. I’m exhausted from work while also feeling really uncomfortable and sick from hives outbreak. Took me a while before I decided to just rant. So I won’t call this the best piece of my work.