The man who sent the first ever text message 25 years ago has told British broadcaster Sky News that he is proud of his achievement.
British engineer Neil Papworth sent the first SMS (Short Message Service) from a computer to a mobile phone belonging to the then-director of Vodafone Richard Jarvis, he told Sky News.
The message read simply: “Merry Christmas.”
Papworth said that Jarvis was unable to reply, because at that time it was not possible to send text messages from mobile phones, only to receive them.
According to Sky, in 2007 the U.K. was sending 66 billion text messages per year and by 2012 that had increased to 151 billion for SMS and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service).
The U.K. currently sends 96 billion text messages every day, Sky reported.
“Texting isn’t as popular as it once was,” said CBC’s Dominic Valitis, reporting from London. “The peak for messaging in the U.K. was 2012 … but we’ve seen a steady decline since then.”
Some experts believe, however, that although text messages are an extremely quick and popular form of communication, they are no match for speaking with someone in person.
“When you send someone a text message you often lose a lot of the context that you might get when you are speaking face to face,” social media expert Toby Beresford told Sky News.
“And that’s a real challenge for us in the new era.”