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Happy 20th BDay to the Txt Msg

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Anyone born after December 3rd, 1992 doesn’t know life without text messages. That was the night when London text engineer Neil Papworth sent the world’s very first message, “Merry Christmas,” to a Vodafone employee who was across town.

Now look at us, we can barely keep our hands off of our phones.

However, it took a while to reach this obsessive point. Todd Demers, owner of Family Wireless saw it firsthand. “I’ve been in this business for that long, and it was a slow process for everyone to engage in that. A phone call is a phone call. Bottom line,” he said.

In ’93 Nokia gave us the first phone that allowed people to send texts to others within that same network.

It was cheap; it was fast, and it became wildly popular. The flood gates opened 6 years later in 1999, when we were able to send texts across networks.

In 2002 alone, more than 250 billion text messages were sent. You can blame them for the LOLs, GTGs, NSFWs, and also changing some social cues.

“Back when I was younger, you had to call a girl and say ‘Hey, will you go out with me?’, and you were going to hear from her direct, yes or no, or the phone clicking,” Demers remembered. “Overall, I love texting. I’m not a huge talker or speaker, so I prefer to actually speak over text,” Desilynn Gladden shared.

Others have recently weaned themselves off of it. “I was always texting people, I would even talk to my mom when I was in the room with her, but then he came in the picture, now all I do is talk,” admitted Diany DeJesus.

Try to remember the time when you struggled to text on that flip phone, unable to imagine a cell with a full keyboard that appeared just a few years later. Now you can pay for merchandise, even donate to charities through a simple text.

What could possibly be next? “I think beam me up Scotty is next. Instead of a text message, you press a button and you end up being in that person’s living room, because we’ve gone so far, that’s got to be the next step,” Demers joked.

Starting today Sprint customers in Vermont will actually be able to text 911 for emergency help, as part of a 4-month trial to evaluate the technology.

In 2011, more than 7.4 trillion text messages were sent around the world.

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