Monday, April 14, 2008

New Thing #94--Portside Mousing

I'm left handed. I was talking with someone recently about all the adaptations left-handed people have to make..we have to hold scissors "upside down", and when we're writing our hands brush over the ink, which can smear it all over the paper. If the writing is in a notebook, the notebook binding gets in the way of our hand. However, there's one activity I always use my right hand for--using the computer mouse. That's the way I learned. Today I moved my mouse to the left side of my keyboard and used my left hand to operate it.

The Website Dumb Little Man suggests that using your opposite hand with the mouse was a great way to improve your brain power. Based on my experience today, I have to agree. It uses a lot of mental energy to stop and think about things that usually come automatically!

If you're of a Certain Age (like me), you didn't grow up learning how to use computers. I remember the first time I tried to use a computer mouse--I couldn't make the pointer do anything I wanted it to, or go in the right direction at all. That's pretty much how I felt with the mouse in my left hand. I kept getting the right and left buttons mixed up. Every computer task took three times as long to complete because I kept forgetting and reaching for the mouse with my right hand before I remembered where it was.

Other than my lack of technical prowess, there were a couple of problems with left-handed mousing. Because I AM left-handed, I often have paper and pencil handy to take notes with my left hand while the mouse is in the right. This wasn't possible today. It wasn't as easy to use keyboard shortcuts for Cut (CTRL-X) and Paste (CTRL-C).

There were some benefits to changing the mouse. It kept my right hand (along with my arm and sore shoulder) still and on my lap. Another was that I was so frustrated with my progress, I SPENT MUCH LESS TIME SITTING IN FRONT OF MY COMPUTER TODAY!

1 comment:

  1. If you use Windows, you can actually go into the mouse settings in Control Panel and change which button is the main click and which is the "right-click", so your index finger is still over the main clicking button. Found that out when I was setting up my dad's new computer (he's a southpaw too).