As smartphones increase in size, they also become increasingly difficult to use with one-hand. This has become such a common problem for everyone and not just people with disabilities, that multiple companies have released accessories aimed at allowing everyone to use their smartphones more easily with one hand. These include a variety of cases and grip attachments. Personally, I’ve been using a PopSocket, which sticks to the back of my phone’s case with adhesive. The PopSocket not only allows me to more easily reach the upper region of my device’s screen with my left thumb, but its shape even allows me to hold my phone in my right hand! This functionality was a nice surprise that encourages me to use my right hand in the limited capacity that I can.
There are two primary ways that I use the Popsocket with my iPhone. When using my phone with one hand, I grip the Popsocket between my middle and ring fingers, which allows me to more confidently use my phone with one hand, especially while on the move, with less fear that I will drop it. When holding my phone this way, tilting the top and bottom portions of the display towards or away from my body as needed makes those areas of the screen easier to reach with my left thumb.
As I mentioned earlier, the Popsocket also encourages me to use my right hand, which is affected by cerebral palsy. Although cerebral palsy drastically hinders both the fine and gross motor skills I have in that hand, the accessory allows me to exercise the gross motor skills I do have in my right hand. I’m able to grip the Popsocket between my right index finger and thumb, while tapping the screen with my left hand.
Technology has always empowered me to live more independently and autonomously. As it changes and advances, I’m learning to expect sometimes literal growing pains. I’m excited to see technology and how we interact with it continue to change and progress. I’m just as excited to see the ways that we humans adapt that technology to make it more useful and usable.