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Happy 20th Birthday, Text Messaging!

Texting Turns 20-Years-Old
Jamie Squire, Getty Images

Although it became a widely used form of communication only recently, texting is actually a decades-old technology. In fact, it celebrated its 20th birthday on Monday, which makes it older than most of the kids who use it. OMG!

The first text ever was sent on Dec. 3, 1992 by British software engineer Neil Papworth. He sent a message to Richard Jarvis, director of the telecommunications company Vodafone, that simply read, “Merry Christmas.”

Since then, texting has exploded in use, with an estimated 2.2 trillion texts sent a year in the US alone, and 8.6 trillion sent globally. Texting is expected to be a $150 billion industry in 2013.

Teens by far have embraced the technology more than most. According to research, 75% of US teens text, wiith an average of 60 messages sent a day. Texting among teens easily beats out other forms of communication, including phone calls, social networking and face-to-face conversations.

Still, texting is gaining ground among older people. Adults 55 and older are estimated to send and receive about 500 texts monthly, although only 20% of them text overall.

How many times have you texted today?

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