Readers share a report: The first text message was sent on Dec. 3, 1992, by British engineer Neil Papworth to Richard Jarvis, an executive at British telecom Vodafone. Typed out on a , it was sent to Jarvis’s Orbitel 901, a mobile phone that would take up most of your laptop backpack. Although Papworth is credited with sending the first text message, he’s the so-called father of SMS. That honor falls on Matti Makkonen, who initially suggested the back in 1984 at a telecommunications conference. But texting didn’t take off over night. First it had to be incorporated into the then-budding GSM standard. , about 97 percent of smartphone owners use text messaging, according to Pew Research, and along the way, a new set of sub-languages on abbreviations and keyboard- imagery has evolved.


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