21 Years of text messaging – Happy Birthday SMS

SMS turns 21 today, On Dec. 3, 1992, a software architect in the U.K. sent the world’s first text message “Merry Christmas” to a colleague. In the 21 years since its invention, texting emerged as an integral part of our lives, connecting billions of users with each other. However the last two years the SMS volumes have gone down significantly…thanks to apps like Whatsapp and LINE.


SMS invention defined texts of the past two decades.  It also gave birth to what we call “SMS Lingo”.  Before Twitter, it was SMS which had a character limit of 160 characters, the latest mobiles however have done away with this restriction and allow upto 20 pages at a time.

 Some interesting anecdotes

  • A British surgeon in 2008 performed a operation on a wounded teenager in Congo which proved life saving. He received step-by-step instructions on how to perform the surgery from a colleague via text message. Interestingly the operation was successful!
  • It’s Legal To Divorce Via Text Message in Malaysia

With social media and free texting apps we surely give less importance to paid SMS’s, however, at some point we all have eagerly waited for that SMS from someone special!


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