Happy Birthday, Text! You’re 20 years old
In the United States, 75% of teenagers text, sending an average of 60 texts a day. According to Pew Internet research, texting is teens' most common form of communication. It beats out phone conversations, social networks and old-fashioned face-to-face conversations.
The first-ever text message was sent December 3, 1992, by software engineer Neil Papworth, to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis. He received the message on his husky Orbitel 901 cell phone. It read simply, "Merry Christmas."
As of Monday, the text is no longer in its teens - the age group it's probably most associated with. In fact, it's more of a senior citizen in technology years.
At just 190 bytes and 160 characters, the modest text message isn't the most glamorous or elaborate form of communication, and that's a major reason it's become so pervasive.
Texting is popular around the world, across age groups and cultures. It is simple, concise, and compatible with every mobile device, whether it's a $500 smartphone or a disposable flip phone.
Six billion SMS (short message service) messages are sent every day in the United States.
It seems tacky to bring this up on its birthday, but this may also be the year the text message peaks. After two decades of constant growth, text messaging is finally slowing down. People move to smartphones and use third-party messaging tools to circumvent wireless carriers' costly per-text charges.
Critical thinking challenge: The text message is 20. Is it too old to be cool?
Define these words: succinctness, circumvent
- Posted on December 3, 2012
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