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SMS Text Messaging Has 20th Birthday MondaySMS Text Messaging Has 20th Birthday Monday

Who invented texting? Who sent the first text and what did it say? Why 160 characters? These and more fun questions are answered on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the first short message service (SMS) text message.

Larry Seltzer

November 30, 2012

1 Min Read

A lot has changed in the last 20 years, but not this technology: text messaging. Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 will be the 20th anniversary of the first SMS message.

Joel Willans on Conversations by Nokia has collected "10 astounding facts about the humble SMS." Here are teasers; read the full article for the fun details.

  1. Get the story of the father of SMS, Matti Makkonen, a Finnish engineer.

  2. Why just 160 characters?

  3. Who sent the first SMS, to whom did he send it, and what did it say? (Hint: It wasn't "1st txt evr.")

  4. How much texting is done today?

  5. How much does the telecom industry earn on texting?

  6. The dangers of texting while driving.

  7. Where did all those stupid abbreviations (BRB, LOL, etc) come from?

  8. All about "sexting."

  9. What is the record for the fastest ever text message?

  10. Did you know texting is the leading cause of tenosynovitis.

Personally, I think texting is inferior to email, but I seem to be in the minority.

About the Author(s)

Larry Seltzer


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