Phones sure have evolved tremendously over the decades. Some of us remember when we used to have to dial numbers on a rotary, and the novelty of having cordless phone in the home. Now we not only have cellular phones that can go anywhere, we have smartphones that seem like they can do almost anything.
In fact, a lot of the time when people talk about phones they really aren’t even concerned about making phone calls, they’re interested in the latest versions of those little touchscreen computers we keep in our pockets.
Even if the importance of traditional phone calls has waned, smartphones are still largely mechanisms of communication. The big difference isn’t that we communicate, it’s how we communicate. On our smartphones, that actually often means typing out our sentences in text messages or emails rather than speaking them aloud.
Unfortunately, one of the tools designed to help us do just that, autocorrect, can have the opposite impact. Smartphones keep getting faster, but it’s worth slowing down to make sure what you’re typing in an email is what you mean to say. There are a several good reasons not to let autocorrect go unchecked:
1) It’s Wrong… A Lot
Typing on a small touchscreen is harder than typing on a regular keyboard, which is why autocorrect is supposed to help us when we hit the wrong key. However, hitting too many wrong keys or even just one can make autocorrect change your misspelled word into something completely different from what you meant. Letting autocorrect make too many mistakes can lead to text messages that are confusing and emails that are downright embarrassing.
2) It Can Mess Up Even When You Don’t
Sometimes you can type a word correctly and autocorrect will still change it on you. This could be because it’s a word from another language, or simply because your phone’s built-in dictionary doesn’t recognize a perfectly real word and tries to change it to one it does know.
Other times, there can be a software issue wreaking havoc on your writing. When Apple started updating iPhones to versions 11 of its iOS software, many users reported that their keyboards were automatically changing the letter “i” to the letter “A,” which obviously was not correct.
3) Proofreading Can Actually Save You Time
If you send someone an error-filled email, you’re likely going to have to go back and explain what you really meant in the first place. Doing so wastes the reader’s time and your own, so make sure you edit that message before you hit “send.”
4) Clear Communication Makes a Positive Impression
Spelling mistakes have the potential to make you look bad, but a well written, error-free email can do the opposite. Chances are you want to look good regardless of who you’re communicating with, so don’t let autocorrect’s shortcomings sell you short too.
Autocorrect is a pretty handy tool if you’re paying attention, but don’t trust it to be 100% accurate all the time. It’s better to proofread your messages rather than relying solely on software to spell everything correctly.