1st Text Message

Did you send a text message today?

If you did, you are not alone.  I heard a stat that said, in the U.S. alone, about 4.1 billion text messages are sent every day.  I don’t know about you, but when I heard that I was like 😮

4.1 billion is a lot of text messages.  There are 313.9 million people in the U.S.  In order to get to 4.1 billion texts per day, every American would have to send 13 text messages.  And actually the number of texts each person would have to send is even higher because not all Americans have cell phones (or maps).  Also, I am pretty sure babies don’t know how to text.

Seeing these stats almost makes me feel like I have some responsibility.  Next time I do not send at least 13 text messages in a day I will feel like I am letting the rest of the country down.  But I am pretty sure there will be some 15 year old girl who can pick up the slack, lol 🙂

All this text message mumbo jumbo made me wonder what the first text message ever sent was.

Here is my guess:

The year was 1995 and Eddie Verizon had just finished developing technology that would allow cell phones to send text based messages back and forth.  In order to test his creation, he decided to type a message to his wife Val.  It took 35 minutes, but he typed “Hello Val. It’s Eddie” and sent it to his wife.  His wife had one of those huge Zack Morris cell phones which had no way to display the message.  So the first ever text message went unanswered.

Here’s what actually happened:

According to Wikipedia, the first text message was sent on December 3, 1992 when Neil Papworth, a 22-year-old test engineer for Sema Group in the UK, used a personal computer to send the text message “Merry Christmas” via the Vodaphone network to the phone of Richard Jarvis.

Text Message Verdict:

My guess was not gr8.  I was off by three years and apparently there was no Eddie or Val Verizon.

However, I would like to question a couple of things in the real story.  Neil Papworth sent “Merry Christmas” on December 3rd?  I was only 7 in 1992, but I don’t remember Christmas taking place on December 3rd that year.  Did Neil think that it would take 22 days for his pal Richard to receive the message?

And did Richard ever receive the message or did he have a Zack Morris phone too?

Finally, Neil sent the message from a personal computer.  That is hardly a text message as I see it.  If messages from computers to phones count as text messages then the number of texts sent in the U.S. is more like 400.1 billion.

Well, that is enough about text messages for now. TTYL 😉

Thanks to Stuart Miles & FreeDigitalPhotos.net for the photo used on the homepage.
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