How Important is “Typing Properly?”

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How Important is “Typing Properly?”

Jenna Miller, Editor in Chief

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Different people tend to type in different ways. Some people use a few fingers but move their hands all over the keyboard. Others only use one finger to hit every key. Others keep their hands on the home keys and stretch their fingers out to hit the other keys – but there is no one “quickest” way to type, as it varies from person to person. So, is there a true need to learn how to type with what is typically considered the “proper” way – using the home key method—if that is the case?

Wantagh High School has a class called Keyboarding focused on teaching students the “touch typing” method, which is typically considered to be the “proper” method – but this method has mixed results depending on the user. “I took Keyboarding freshman year, but it didn’t help me,” said Claire Yustat, senior. 

On the other hand, senior Morgan Berman said the class was very beneficial. “Now I’m a better—and quicker—typist.”

The “proper” way to type is not necessarily the fastest for everyone. I learned how to touch-type in elementary and middle school but I found that for me, it was always far slower than using the method of typing I found myself getting accustomed to—using two or three fingers, including the thumb, per hand and moving my hands around the keyboard. I also made more errors when touch-typing.

More recently, I did a simple diagnostic test online to determine my typing speed and compare how it varied between both typing methods I used. For my personal typing method, I was able to type 77 words per minute with 97% accuracy. For the touch-typing, or “proper,” method, I only typed 41 words per minute with 93% accuracy. So, why is typing using this method considered such a “necessity?”

According to Pitman Training, “A touch typist can easily reach typing speeds above 75-80 words per minute, while a non-trained individual is around 10. This is increased by the fact that an accomplished touch typist doesn’t have to look at the keyboard. Not only will you become more efficient, but you will also be able to direct focus where required.” Considering how I was able to reach 77 words per minute even when not touch-typing, and I do not need to look at the keyboard, if a typist has a typing style they are used to and have been using for a long time, they should continue to use it if it works for them. 

However, if that typist struggles with typing quickly with their personal method, then maybe touch-typing would be a valuable skill for them to learn. The importance of touch-typing is all a matter of personal preference. 

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