Today the humble text message turns twenty-seven. It was in 1992 that the first text message was sent an engineer from Vodafone, sent the message “Merry Christmas” from a PC to a mobile device using Vodafone’s UK network.
I don’t recall the first text message I sent, but it was one technology that I have never really taken advantage of.
I only really started sending text messages when I got my first iPhone. I think my problem was with predictive text or even understanding texting language. The advantage of the iPhone was a proper keyboard and not needing to try and use a numeric keypad. I could never get my head around the numeric keypad and did like and prefer the qwerty keyboard. Still have that today when people send me SMS texts, sometimes I have no idea what they are trying to say! I know, I know, I am old…
Of course Messages on the iPhone isn’t actually SMS either…
I still use SMS, in the main for receiving updates from the NHS, my dentist and delivery services. I prefer SMS updates as I find that e-mail updates get lost in the volume of e-mail I get. Also SMS self organises on my iPhone and I get very little if any SMS spam.
Back in 2012, I mentioned in a (similar) blog post over on eLearning Stuff that:
There are signs from Ofcom that the use of texting has peaked and is on a decline.
In 2012 there were 162billion text messages sent in the UK, in 2018 there were just 74billion text messages sent, that’s a 54% drop. Source,
So Ofcom was right and we have seen a decline.
Are we sending less messages?
Well no not really, what’s also happened in that same time period is a huge increase in the use of tools such as iMessage (or is it Messages) on iOS devices, Facebook Messenger and of course WhatsApp. These services are replacing the need for sending SMS messages for many users.
So when was the last time you sent an SMS?