The Short History of Texting: Chapter 1

This came out in yesterday’s International Herald Tribune: a charming and at the same time candid look at that pivotal moment 15 years ago (who knew?) when the very first "text" message was sent. That SMS greeting (sent from a computer, as it happens) was meant to make pagers more useful, but ended up starting a cultural revolution. (Who knew?)

I remember the first time somebody told me about texting: it was either late 1996 or early 1997, and a brilliant cousin who was marketing director at one of the major telcos at the time was telling me about a trip he had made to Camiguin island, and how he kept in touch with his family by using his phone to send text messages. It took me a while to wrap my head around the idea. (Who knew?)

Victoria Shannon’s piece in IHT is a classic feature (I mean, it follows the structure of the classic feature story, leading off with a compelling quote and ending with a terrific anecdotal conclusion); it is also a very good read.


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