Typing is more important than ever.

You sit at a computer, dazed at the thought of typing an extremely long essay. How will you ever type all of that quickly?

Typing is something most of us do every day. To write articles, all of the Hale Telescope staff types. To write essays, we type. To play video games, we type. For homework, we type. Typing has never been more prevalent, yet so many adults and teens lack the ability to type well.

You may be asking yourself, what constitutes good typing? Good typing is also known as touch typing. This is a kind of typing where you are able to look at a screen while your fingers do all the work, and you do not need to look at the keyboard. Most people who type this way type at 40 words per minute, which was the average.

To conduct a test, I asked some of my friends, Jyrene Bartel and Jaslyn Rai, to compete in a test with me. Jaslyn “hunts and pecks”, which is when you do not keep your fingers on the home row, which are the keys a, s, d, f, j, k, l, and semicolon (;). She looks at the keyboard to type, and consequentially types very slow. Her results are in the lowest box.

Jyrene knows where the keys are, but she cannot type without looking down. She has to look down to make sure she hits the right keys, but she knows for the most part where they are.

I type using muscle memory. I can type while looking at a screen extremely fast. My fingers can work on their own and all I need to do is look at the screen, and make sure the right letters pop up.

As you can see, I type about twice as fast as Jyrene, who types twice as fast as Jaslyn. I type 5 times faster than Jaslyn, which s a big difference. We all typed the same, short paragraph, but it is remarkable how different our scores are.

When you consider these speeds, there are many reasons you may want to type faster. If you type faster, you can save time when writing emails or papers. This is especially good when you are writing as fast as you can, but your mind is running even faster. Your posture is also an important thing to consider while typing, and your posture typically benefits greatly when you type. Poor typing posture makes you more likely to make mistakes, but when you sit up straight, you make less mistakes. If you type often, you may find your posture getting better as mistakes condition you to type with better posture.

Employers also like people to type faster. When the employers know their employees type faster, they know that they will be more productive and work faster, making them more efficient. Even if you type at a medium speed of 30-50 wpm, you may still type faster than other people.

Judy Guardia, who has been teaching computers and typing at Woodland Hills Elementary School for 18 years says, “In the old days, typing was mostly important for secretaries and personal assistants, but now, almost everyone has a computer, with a keyboard to function it, and almost everyone needs to type. When you type, you have a choice: you can learn to type quickly, or you can type slowly and suffer while you work.” She recommends the sites typing.com, which is a free, extremely easy to use website. For younger children, she employs Dance Mat Typing, and for more advanced typists, she recommends nitrotype.com, where you can competitively type. She used to use software to pay for, but now says, “Some of the best appliances you can use to type are free.” She believes the two most important things to learn while you type is to make sure you look at the screen and learn where the keys are and where your fingers should rest.

She believes that the ideal age to learn typing is 6 or 7 years old, but each individual person gets ready at their own time. Some experts believe that kindergarteners are ready, but she knows, from experience, that it is easier to teach, and learn, when you are in second grade.

The method she employs is called muscle memory or touch typing, which is also known as the home row method. She has heard of other methods, such as an alphabet method where you learn the alphabet first, but she has found that touch typing is easy and works well.

Mrs. Guardia believes that this generation, in particular, needs to learn how to type more than past generations. She says that, “you will be on computers for the rest of your life. Whether you are a doctor, an administrator, or a writer, we will all need to type, making it that much more important to learn. In every job, you need to communicate with your computer and learn how to use the keyboard to use it.

Many parents say that with the introduction of touchscreens and voice control/activation into the mainstream, typing is becoming less useful. However, touchscreens are not available everywhere, so it is still extremely important to type.

There are many benefits to quick typing, so what are you doing! Search for a fun typing website, such as typing.com or zty.pe, and learn how to type!