Disclaimer: i am not associated with Apple. This post explores the effects of among their defaults because that its social relevance and usability. As such, the opportunity remains the there are details reasons for this default the I’m not conscious of.

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Apple’s default auto text replacement the omw come “On mine way!” may seem innocuous, however this function actually invokes an existential crisis for numerous members of the internet generation.

It certainly did for me when I tried conserving this really piece of writing on mine MacBook Pro, just to have actually — girlfriend guessed it — the “omw” automatically replaced by the overly eager, earnest, and also insistent “On mine way!”

Comedian and The Daily present correspondent Jaboukie Young-White recently tweeted the following:


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fig: tweet native Jaboukie reads “i embraced my mortality the moment i quit correcting top top My way! to omw”

It have to be noted that the was not alone in his despair.

In mine mini digital proto-ethnography, I discovered that many iPhone customers reported similar concerns. Some ultimately felt the load of having their plight truly seen, while rather pondered the source of their frustration. Here are several of the tweets I uncovered that to express solidarity in the struggle:


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Similar messages and articles online comment on the very same issue. Here’s simply a sample indigenous Reddit and Cult the Mac, which has actually a totality piece devoted to lamenting the automatic message replacement that omw:


Fig: A irritable user posting on the to apologize subreddit about the user suffer of “omw” being auto-replaced to “On my way!”
Fig: The headline of the Cult the Mac article lamenting the “omw” default message replacement feature.

For the net generation, point is extremely meaningful. What the over users are implicitly and also explicitly speak is the the impression the “On my way!” offers off doesn’t complement the psychological model of the vibe users want to express.

An “omw” is a laid earlier and blasé message, but “On my way!” v its peppy exclamation suggest implies something fully different. You most likely don’t want to sound choose an overly enthusiastic and giddy cheerleader or one intense and also potentially even alarming employee, however texting “On my way!” will aid ensure you do.

This difficulty has end up being so culturally meaningful that it has actually spawned a image that has stood the test of web time (and by that I typical it’s been relevant for end a year):


For the web generation, point is very meaningful.


Let’s go back to Jaboukie’s tweet. While many expressed solidarity through his experience, others felt compelled to tell Jaboukie the the settings for this default can be changed:


And…they’re right. Users have the right to go to basic settings > key-board > message Replacement come delete this default. I may or may not have done this after reading these tweets myself.


Fig: Users have the right to remove the auto-correction that “omw” come “On my way!” by walking to basic settings > keyboard > message replacement and also removing the default. Notably, this is the only default message replacement setting embedded in the system.

Defaulting ~ above Defaults

But why is this the default in the an initial place? A default is intended to reflect the designer’s assumptions around the needs, expectations, and also preferences the the bulk of the system’s target users. Great defaults room contextually relevant. As soon as a user very first buys one iPhone, the do not annoy setting, i m sorry cuts down on notifications, is turned off because the presumption is that users will desire to actually acquire phone calls and text messages that the machine supports.

One that the factors why defaults room so vital is since they are seldom changed. Jared Spool, prolific UX designer and former employee of Microsoft who functioned there throughout the early days of Microsoft Office Suite, found through his research that

less than 5% that users readjusted their default settings.

This experiment was repeated countless times transparent the years, with regular results. Only a tiny percent of users adjust the initial configuration the a technology. This method that

the default, for most people, totally determines exactly how that technology is walk to it is in used.

Sometimes, defaults can also have life or death implications. In nations like Spain, Portugal, and Austria, the default is that occupants are body organ donors unless they explicitly select otherwise. In the joined States, the policy rather operates on one “opt-in” basis: if you want to donate her organs, you have actually to actively check a crate on the DMV questionnaire saying so. If 95% of U.S. Adult support organ donation, only 58% room signed up together donors. By contrast, in Austria, which has the opposite “opt-out” consent policy, end 99% the the populace is registered. Spain, which has actually the exact same policy, has collection records because that the greatest organ donation rates in the world. While there are plenty of other variables that affect the success of organ donation systems, studies display that “opt-out” consent policies do lead to a statistically far-ranging increase in the number of transplants. What this means is that a just default could actually do the difference between someone acquiring a life-saving body organ transplant or not.

The bottom heat is whether it’s due to cognitive pack or an assumption that the defaults were very closely considered by the firm or institution (spoiler alert, this is not always the case), world rarely stroked nerves to readjust the default settings.

See more: How To Hide Things On Your Phone (Updated For Ios 15), How To Hide Apps On Iphone (Updated For Ios 15)

The responsibility is for this reason on the design team to make certain that defaults are relevant to the users’ experience. And also making users sound extra together hell against their will certainly by instead of the unassuming and also broadly applicable “omw” come the perhaps crazed-sounding “On mine way!” is probably not the means to carry out this.