Happy 20th Birthday, Text Messaging

For those of you who were fortunate, you likely remember visiting your grandparent’s house and seeing, or if you were really lucky, using, a rotary phone where you had to turn a dial to input the phone numbers. Then, the phones with the number pad finally came into existence, and everyone was shocked. But, if you were away from home and needed to contact someone, you had to visit a payphone booth and insert your quarter to make the phone call. The problem was that if you were caught in an awkward situation, such as having a broken-down car in the middle of nowhere, you would have to walk several miles to the nearest town to use a payphone. As a result, cell phones finally hit the market.

The first cell phones looked more like a brief case that also just so happened to have a phone attached. These phones were more expensive than modern smartphones, and you could not afford to use them for shooting the breeze with a friend unless you were made of money. Then, modern cell phones began hitting the market, and they were finally small enough to fit in your pocket, and the plans made just chatting with friends a lot more affordable.

Then, text messaging came into play, which allowed us to skip the phone call all together and essentially send an instant message to one of our contacts. When most of us think about text messaging, we think that it came out during the late 1990s to early 2000s. However, it actually came out on December 3, 1992. Can you believe text messaging is really 20-years old today?

Sure, it came out in 1992, but it was certainly quite the luxury. Reports say that to send a text message during the early era would have cost users a few cents per message, which would have added up to the price of a car payment per month if one were to send the same number of daily texts then as they do today.

It is truly amazing how much we take technology that has been around for so long for granted. When it used to cost a few cents per text message and, seemingly, an arm-and-a-leg to make a call from the first cell phones, many of us now complain about our rates being raised to $100 a month for unlimited minutes, texts and data.

Happy birthday, text messaging!



Jason Russell is our resident technology expert covering everything technology related. He is a total technology geek and no one knows technology better than him.

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