If Your Keyboard Had Feelings, What Would It Say About You?

Earlier today, on Facebook, Evernote Fitness Ambassador, Chad Williams, asked “If your keyboard had feelings, what would it say about you?” I jokingly replied that my keyboard would say, “Slow down!”

But when I got home this evening, I looked into it a little further. Because, in a way, my keyboard can talk. As part of my personal analytics effort, I use keystroke loggers on all of my machine. (They don’t record my keystrokes, but instead keep count of how many I make.) I restarted the logger on my home machine when I got my new iMac, about 6 weeks ago or so. Since that time, I’ve logged over 400,000 keystrokes. My average typing speed is about 73 words per minute, but at times, I have clocked over 90 words per minute. If you eliminate the spacebar from the mix, my most-used key is–you guessed it: the backspace key.

Here is a heatmap of my keystrokes over the last 6 weeks. The redder a key, the more I use it:

Keyboard heatmap.png

As it turns out, the backspace key makes up 8.8% of all my keystrokes. Put another way, I hit backspace 9 times for every 100 keystrokes I make.

So I’d amend my original comment and suggest that instead of telling me to slow down, my keyboard would say, “Hey, why don’t you watch what you’re doing, bub!”

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.