For decades, the mouse was a key component of how one interacted with a computer. Invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1963, the pointing device was the key to more accessible interfaces. As Apple and IBM-compatible PCs took off in the 1980s, the mouse became an indispensable way of doing most things.
But now, the shift to mobile computing is underway—and mobile phones and tablets, like laptops before them, don't require that their users plug in a mouse.
Based on my own habits, I started to wonder: how often do people still use mice? I work on a laptop and haven't touched one in months.
So I conducted an informal survey about mouse usage. These results are not methodologically rigorous, but they're interesting. There were 298 people who answered the question—"when did you last use a mouse?"—and a full 76 percent of them had used a mouse on the day they took the survey or in the week beforehand.
On the other hand, more than a third of respondents had not used a mouse on the day they responded. And it had been longer than six months for about 15 percent of respondents, including more than 8 percent who couldn't remember when the last time was because it had been so long ago.
Interestingly, the group of people who said they hadn't used a mouse for more than six months had a higher mean age (37) than those who said they'd used one in the last month or more frequently (35).