Back in my day we didn’t have texting and had to actually talk on the phone to communicate. But today’s not back in my day, and today texting has spread like wildfire when it comes to personal communication. Texting is more efficient and low profile, making it great for situations such as while you’re at work or at a meeting. Plus, it gets the point across quickly and there’s not that awkward need to hold a conversation when you needed to know one thing or say one statement.
The Blackberry is no exception of a phone when it comes to the texting addiction. In fact it pushes it for it, as most smartphones do these days. However, due to it’s akward button layout getting used to texting (or merely using the keys for any reason) is generally difficult to get accustomed to. I personally used to use the Envy II, a phone that had a larger spread and bigger buttons to text on when compared to the Blackberry (I have the Curve which supposedly has more spread out keys compared to older Blackberry models, too).
Remember – It’s QWERTY
One mental note that any avid texter should keep in mind is that the Blackberry keypad layout is that of a QWERTY keyboard (like the one you use for your computer). You can tell it’s a “QWERTY” layout since the first six letters starting at the top left are that: Q – W – E – R – T – Y. As stated, the Blackberry is no different, it’s basically just a miniature version of a computer keyboard with some miniscule differences such as the shift key and number locations.
Just The Tips
Many people use the whole top of their thumbs to text these days due to becoming accustomed to other phones. However, you cannot do that with the Blackberry phones due to their smaller buttons. If you do use your whole thumbs you’ll hit multiple keys most of the time, creating stress and prompting you to do a lot of backspacing – and downtime is not what texting is all about.
Merely use the tips of your thumbs by slightly arching your wrists when texting on a Blackberry for greater accuracy and button precision. Also, doing this arching technique also allows you increase visual perception on the buttons as your hands aren’t in the way as much.
Practice… A Lot
Practicing is the foundation of becoming better at anything in this world, and texting is absolutely no different. Texting is easy to practice since the volume at which people text these days is pretty high. If you’re not an avid texter yet you want to get better I suggest the following: 1.) Strike up some more conversations with friends and family in your phone book – don’t be afraid to text that friend you haven’t talked to in a few months; 2.) Use the notepad to create notes about, well… anything. This is a great exercise since you are practicing your texting on your Blackberry and you’re getting used to an application with high potential on your phone; and 3.) Surf the web (Suggestion – Only use the internet if it’s covered under your contract, otherwise high fees will incur) – Another great application for your phone as it helps keep you connected and there’s symbols involved when usig the internet, broadening your button-using horizons. For example: The period (“.”) will be used for putting in URLs and e-mail addresses and the at symbol (“@”) will be used for e-mail as well.
Positioning For the Keys is Key
Like typing on a computer keyboard your positioning is key when it comes to success in the texting realm. No, I’ve never taken a texting class (do they even have those?), but I’ve been texting for quite awhile now and I consider myself an avid texter. It took me awhile to get used to the Blackberry keyboard layout, but after a few weeks I finally got used to it and I am back to my rapid texting speed.
My personal start out position is putting the tips of my thumbs on the middle row. My left thumb starts out between the “D” and “F” key, this way if I have to hit either of them I can merely roll the tip of my thumb in that direction. My right thumb uses the same concept by putting my thumb between the “J” and “K” keys.
Like keyboarding (Yes, I’ve taken keyboarding classes) I use my left hand for the left side of the keypad and the right hand for the right side of the keypad. This allows me to move my fingers around rapidly, increasing the speed in which I can text and get my message out. Depending on which key I hit last I have already positioned the other thumb ontop of the space bar so I can hit it as soon as necessary.
For backspacing I use my right thumb, as that key is on the right side so it would be a poor decision to use my left. For capital letters I’ll use either hand since there’s a shift key on either side of the space bar, respectively.
When I need to use a symbol such as a question mark (“?”) you must hit the “Alt” key all the way to the left. For this reason I hit the “Alt” key with my left thumb and whatever symbol I am typing with my right thumb. This is the quickest way to insert needed symbols for punctuation and grammatical purposes.
Texting really is a skill that needs to be practiced in order to perfect and get better at. Use these suggestions on your Blackberry and I promise that you’ll gain some words per minute (WPM).