So I’ve been sitting around the past few days making miniscule progress in other areas of writing besides this blog, totally stricken by writer’s block, just wondering what to do next here at Everything Sucks. It just hit me right now: I have been fucking furious about a certain something for the four days and I’m surprised it took me this long to realize it would make a perfect blog post.
As I’ve mentioned before (probably), I love Google Docs. I know it isn’t the most robust piece of software around, but since it’s for writing you don’t really need anything too complex. In case you’re a troglodyte: Google Docs is a word pressor program/app (like a free version of Microsoft Word because fuck paying to type stuff) that syncs all of your work across whatever you have Google Docs installed on. This is super handy for writing because you can access whatever you’re working on nearly everywhere. If you’re bored at the dentist’s office you can open Google Docs and write a fiery blog post about it. If you drunkenly wrote some stuff on your phone 4 a.m. you can open it later and properly edit the mess on a computer. Have some notes you need to jot down for later? Google fucking Docs! It’s great. You can also share your writings with others and even have them edit your work but obviously I haven’t made use of this functionality yet.
Nearly everyone is proficient with phone touchscreen keyboards. It’s a consequence of the world we live in; you send text messages, shitpost on social media, check your bank accounts, etc. Even the old and the technologically-ignorant can learn to rapidly fire off a text message with time, repetition, and practice. While I think I’m much more proficient than the average person due to all the actual writing I do on my phone, I think everyone is comfortable enough that they don’t even realize how intuitively they know their keyboard. No one usually looks exactly at what button they need to hit or anything; it’s all muscle memory.
I never really thought about this until about four days ago. I started writing whatever it was that I was writing be it a story or some proto-blog post, and I noticed something very strange and frustrating kept occuring. As my mind naturally flew along driven by The Process and my thumbs desperately tried to keep up, I realized for some reason I kept typing hyphens when I meant to type commas. So I’d have sentences- while grammatically correct- had hyphens instead of commas! What the hell was going on? There has been times before where by brain had shut off — I clearly remember one night where I couldn’t for the life of me remember my computer password — but there was no way I could accidentally type hyphens instead of commas constantly.
I have an idea but don’t know how to prove it. What I’m 95% sure happened is this: my phone recently had a software update and for some reason someone somewhere with way too much power and influence for their own good decided that replacing the comma — located on a dedicated button next to the spacebar — with the hyphen was a great fucking idea. And through years of typing on my phone and forming muscle memory to where I didn’t need to think about typing anymore I found my world turned upside down. I know the comma isn’t there anymore, but I can’t stop myself in the heat of the typing moment to not hit the goddamn hyphen anyways. This breaks the artistic flow; you need to backspace the hyphen and put the actual comma in. Adding insult to injury, the comma itself is now on the fucking long-press ‘n’ key. Yes, you heard that right. One of the most common forms of punctuation in the english language, the one used to break up sentences and ideas, one that I’m very fond of using, is a long-press character for who-the-fuck-knows what reason. Look, I understand the colon or semicolon being long-press characters, but the goddamn comma?! It’s second in importance only to the period!
The best hypothesis I have is perhaps the devs thought that a hyphen is used more frequently on a phone with typing in internet addresses or something. Hyphens are all over the place. So, maybe? It’s still a shitty reason though.
A random good idea? Customizable keyboards. Gimme a drag-and-drop keyboard where I can rearrange it myself, kinda like the tool menu at the top of Android screens. That sounds fun, right?
Making this even more frustrating is the fact that I don’t even know who to direct my hatred and blame towards. Who is in charge of phone updates? Verizon? Samsung? Android? Google? I have no idea. I only know there is this shadowy figure lurking somewhere in corporate America who has totally fucked my week over in the most evil, diabolical, and subtle way possible. Total chaotic neutral/evil alignment. I don’t even think I can complain about this to anyone else; someone ranting about an updated phone keyboard and commas/hyphens would come off and unhinged over nothing. But to me this is a really big deal and a huge inconvenience.
Look, I don’t give a fuck if people do stupid stuff; all I ask for is that they have a reason for the stupid stuff. I can forgive stupid actions if mistakes are admitted to and it’s okay to say you’re wrong. But for the mysterious individual responsible for fucking up my beloved Android keyboard? I have no idea who they are or if they even understand their egregious mistake. I sure hope someday they become aware of the utter atrocity they committed against Android and Google Doc users in general. I know I can’t be the only one with this problem.