SMS 20th Anniversary Special



How Text Messages Changed Modern Society

Today we mark the 20th anniversary of the SMS (Short Message Service). Two decades ago, in 1992, a young engineer named Neil Papworth sent the first text message in the world. The message read “Marry Christmas” and its recipient was his friend Richard Jarvis. Papworth sent the text to an Orbitel 901 telephone using only a computer. About 8 years later, short messages started to gain popularity and today they are an important part of our lives. Text messages are one of the most convenient and quick way to communicate. However, despite being short, these messages managed to change modern society in a number of ways. Let’s take a look at some of them!

We are more accessible – Now, you can easily connect with anyone no matter the place or the hour. Often SMS messages are more preferred than phone calls since they require less time and effort. In addition, they are one very discreet way of communication. For example, let’s say that you are at a conference or at lectures. You can always write a quick note to a friend or read a message that was sent to you. You don’t need to go out or wait till you are alone.

We are more distracted – This is one of the most negative sides of texting. That is because we text everywhere. We text and we drive, we walk and we text, we text and we eat, we speak and we text… It’s like we are addicted. As a result, now people are more absent-minded. Why this is negative? Well, many accidents can occur when keep our eyes on our phone display and not on the road, for example.

We violate grammar rules – Text messages have character limitation and that leads to many inventive, humourous and frankly annoying abbreviations. LOL, BTW, FYI, BRB and many more are widely used letter combinations by the young. Some of these abbreviations have even entered the official English dictionary. This encryptizaion of language may soon erase some basic grammar rules.

We are more to-the-point – Again, this has to do with the character limit in the short messages. When we need to send some information we have to do with about 160 characters. However, that is not an easy task. As we already learnt, one way to fit into the limit is to use abbreviations. The other one is to be short and clear. If you want to save yourself some time and money from phone bills, you need to learn to be direct and to-the-point. There is no time for adjectives, filling words, excessive details and etc.

So next time U send txt think bout o thiz things. N memba – no SMS & vroom!

*So next time you decide to send a text message, think about all these things. And remember – no texting and driving!


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