edu-it

education, technology, and everything else

heavy hitters

Posted by Miranda on November 15, 2009

Let’s hear it for the heavy hitters! You know who you are…The harder you hit it the better it will act folks, the ones with the lead foot on the mouse button.

I turned into the corner at the end of the stacks of bookshelves at the library yesterday to see a long-time client of mine already at the big maple table with his laptop. I settled in kitty corner to him and after we exchanged greetings and related pleasantries we both settled in to our respective tasks.
The room was quiet. Charlie was watching “how to’ videos from the Experimental Aircraft Association. He builds planes in his garage up in Vershire and is a member of the Replica Fighters Association. (These guys build WWII fighter aircraft and then fly them around – these are ¾ or full size planes I’m talking about! I mean these guys are crazy.) He comes to the library to watch the videos as he is also on a last mile.

And then it began.

Like a dripping tap it became more and more noticeable with repetition.

Click. Click! CLICK! CLICK!

Charlie was pounding that mouse button, putting his whole body into it. You could see him gather himself as his eyes approached a clickable link, his back arching, his forefinger slowly rising and……. CLICK!

I see a lot of people do this, students included. It seems to have nothing to do with the digital native thing. Some people are just prone to it.
It makes no difference how hard you click that mouse button, it may be actively counter productive in fact. Yet people will put their whole backs into pounding on that left click. Why?

Even I do this when I’m really frustrated. I confess, here, publicly, that I am a mouse abuser and a keyboard pounder when a computer is doing what I said instead of what I meant.

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