Yesterday morning the BACKSPACE key on my work computer started sticking. It might have had something to do with me spilling juice on that specific area of my keyboard the very same morning, but then again, that might have just been a coincidence.

But no matter how it happened, it started sticking. Now in order to successfully delete something I have to grab all four sides of the button with my thumb and three fingers, press it down firmly, and then pull it back up again quickly. I’d estimate that the whole process takes about ten times longer the normal pinky peck, not to mention that if I do just pinky peck then the button goes down but doesn’t pop back up and my writing gets eaten up with surprising and frightening speed.

So. Maybe because I’m so philosophical and inquisitive (or perhaps because I’m too lazy to write an email to the Helpdesk to get it fixed, what with a sticky button slowing everything down) I decided to see if my typing behavior changed after becoming conditioned to the sticky backspace button. I mean, under normal button conditions I press the backspace button a ton – I tend to type very fast, make a lot of mistakes, and quickly fix them. Maybe if fixing mistakes took more time and effort, I would make fewer mistakes in the first place.

Maybe it was all a metaphor for my entire life – do I tend to make mistakes in my daily thoughts and actions and then waste time correcting them just because the “backspace button” of life is so easy to peck sometimes? For example, is it sometimes easier to hurt someone’s feelings and then say “I’m sorry” than to not hurt the person in the first place? Are apologies, do-overs, retractions, and quick fixes the backspace buttons of our everyday? Would we all benefit from slowing down and paying more attention to who we were and what was right?

The answer is no. After two solid days without a properly functioning backspace button, I can tell you with certainty that it does not make you type more accurately or pay more attention to your actions. It just annoys the fuck out of you. The backspace button is there for a reason. And it’s twice as big as all the regular buttons for a reason. Mistakes happen, people. Like juice spilling. Even typing this post has pushed me to the edge of my sanity. And writing my email to the Helpdesk right after this will probably finish the job.

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