Texting Turns 20: 20 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Text Messaging


This Monday is the 20th anniversary of text messaging. And, to celebrate it, here are 20 things that you probably didn't know about SMSing. 

1. After 20 years, text messages remain a 160-character 'or less' sources of information (sorry Twitter).

2. About 200,000 text messages are sent (and received) every year per second

3. Text messages were invented by Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen.

4. SMS were more popular in Europe than in the U.S. (were people's preference for calling made them resistant to change).

5. The first text message was received by a 2.1 kilograms Orbitel 901 "transportable" cellphone. 

6. Text messaging's main use at first was to inform subscribers of waiting voicemails.

7. Text messaging was originally a free-of-cost service.

8. In 1995, three years after their invention, an average user sent only one text every two and a half months.

9. The introduction of prepaid cellular service, in 2000, helped popularize text messaging. 

10. All 6 billion cellphone subscribers today have access to SMS.

11. America learned how to text thanks to American Idol

12. Blacks and Hispanics text more than whites. 

13. Texting-and-driving is becoming an increasingly difficult problem to tackle. 

14. 3 in 5 teenagers think 'sexting' is unsafe, but 1 in 5 do it anyway.

15. The average American teenager sends 3,000 text messages a month.

16. Text messaging earns phone companies $70 billion a year.

17. Texters use less abbreviations than thought.

18. Female teens text more than male ones.

19. Texting may change some young children's brains.

20. Texting may or may not be a word.