Text Messaging Turns 25 Today

The chances are good that you’ve sent more than a handful of text messages this past year. In fact in Canada we average a few hundred million texts a day for a total of 200 billion texts sent last year using multimedia messaging services (MMS) and short messaging services (SMS); that’s the most since 2012 according to statista.com


Today marks the 25th anniversary of the first text message, sent from a computer to a mobile phone using SMS, by British Engineer Neil Papworth to the then-director of Vodaphone Richard Jarvis on December 3rd 1992. The message read “Merry Christmas” and there was no reply as at the time phones could not send text messages.


It has been a long and occasionally uncertain road for texting, and it has changed quite a lot since then, with short code being developed, emojis being created and integrated into the conversation with meanings of their own. It is undeniable that text messaging has altered the way we communicate and the English language as a whole. It’s also impacted society, some even claiming people are losing the ability to communicate face-to-face because of texting, but what ever your thoughts on it; it’s not going anywhere yet.


So happy birthday to the text message!

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