Thursday, 14 July 2016

Digitally-handicapped for the touchscreen age

I have great difficulty in using touchscreens - somehow they just don't work at all well for my fingers. This applies to a range of manufactured products - PCs, Apple products, Kindles...

I touch or press my finger against the screen... nothing. Press again, lighter or harder... nothing: it doesn't know I am there.

Sometimes breathing on my fingertip seems to help; but generally I just have to repeat again and again until eventually something happens, but usually not what I wanted.

Perhaps it is that my fingers are just too blunt-ended - that I am digitally handicapped. Or maybe they are the wrong temperature (I have warm hands most of the time - but I would have thought that would be helpful, rather than a hindrance).

My keyboard typing is okay (three-fingered) but I do need reasonably large keys - normal sized keys. I cannot depress just one key on many hand held devices - I have to used a rubber-tipped 'wand' or stylus.

Whatever the cause, it seems I am stuck with it, and the age of portable digitally operated devices is a frustration rather than a pleasure.

Note: This blog post contains photos of my - seemingly - deformed hands:


  1. Why not use a touchscreen stylus?

  2. L - Re-read the post... Interestingly, styluses are often screen specific. And easily lost.

  3. I assumed you meant you used a stylus to depress small solid keys, not on touchscreens. Capacitive styluses have become much better in terms of build quality than a few years ago. You dont need to worry about screen specificity,any one should work with any capacitive screen (i.e. every portable touchscreen). The older tiny bits of flimsy plastic are certainly trivially easy to lose, but newer ones are more substantial, about the size of a ballpoint but with a fairly wide range of size. One can even make their own if so inclined.

  4. I have the opposite problem. Apparently my fingertips are so electrically charged I can cause a tap response while my finger is millimeters away from the surface. Also, my skin is an overachiever when it comes to lipid production. I use a stylus to prevent errant taps and a greasy screen.

  5. I hate touchscreens, too -- partly because they're hard to use, and partly because of their associations with the smartphone epidemic -- and simply avoid them. Back when I had a Kindle, it was the keyboard version, and I am currently using my first and last touchscreen (but still non-"smart") phone. It's secondhand, given to me by my nephew when my Nokia flip phone died, and as soon as it dies, I'm getting another flip phone.