Five Things We Can Learn From Autocorrect

When I say the word “learning” what comes to mind?

Maybe you think of a colorful classroom full of energetic 1st graders. Or maybe you think of a stuffy college lecture hall with a buttoned up, grey haired professor.

Whatever you have in your mind, I think it is pretty safe to guess that you are picturing some type of school setting. And that makes sense given the fact that most of our learning comes from formal education.

But what happens when we stop our formal education? Do we stop learning?

Not at all. We just learn differently. As we grow older we trade in our learning from chalkboards and homework to learning from board rooms and networks.

That is the great thing about learning, it is not confined to certain times or locations. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere.

Think about that time you were just one minute late for the bus. You probably learned that every minute counts. Or that day you didn’t recognize your wife’s new haircut. You probably learned to be a little more perceptive.

We all can learn some very important lesson from the things we encounter on a daily basis.

With that in mind, I would like to introduce a new segment that I am calling “Five Things We Can Learn From Everyday Objects.”

For the first entry in this series I will take on something we all bump into anytime we type into our phone or computer…Autocorrect.

Five Things We Can Learn From Autocorrect

1. If you go too fast you are bound to mess up

Have you ever tried to type a text message so fast that what comes out is just a jumbled mess? Your fingers are moving so franticly that autocorrect has to work extra hard to decipher what you are writing, and nothing comes out right.

What happens next? You have to delete all the mistakes and type the words all over again. You ended up taking twice as long and typing everything twice because you tried to go too fast.

We make this same mistake in our everyday lives. We try to solve problems by throwing speed at them instead of substance. We franticly finish fast but all we have to show for it is just jumbled junk.

2. You can’t fix errors with errors

Recently I tried to spell the word “viable” in a text message. But my fingers hit the wrong keys and I typed “viakle” instead. Autocorrect sensed that it was the wrong word and changed it to “Viking.”

Autocorrect was doing its job, but it still didn’t make my sentence correct. It simply fixed an error with another error.

Sometimes we think we can solve every problem just by changing it. But just because it was changed doesn’t mean it was made better. Remember when you made a mistake at work and covered it up with a lie. That is like using Viking when you should have used viable.

3. Sometimes you are just too far off

I often spell words so poorly that autocorrect has no suggestion for it. I am so far off that autocorrect is just looking at me like, “that’s not even close to any real words.” In those cases I have to start over and really put some thought into spelling it correctly.

Think about the time your boyfriend got mad at you and you couldn’t figure out why. I bet when you stopped and really put some thought into it you had a much better guess at the correct answer.

4. Sometimes you really are right (even when others disagree)

Autocorrect is great, but it is not perfect. Just the other day I was going to play wiffle ball with some friends. Anytime I would type “wiffle” into a text message autocorrect would change it to “waffle.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy waffles just as much as the next guy, but in this case my message had nothing to do with delicious breakfast foods.

In real life, just like in text messages, there are sometimes you will be right, no matter what other people say. It is important to recognize those times and ignore the popular opinion and trust your gut.

5. We can all use help
I am good at typing but with autocorrect I am much better. I am good at math but with a calculator I am much better. No matter how good we are at something, we can all use a little help at one point or another. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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