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Wiley: Texting revolutionizes communication by 20th birthday

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 00:12

Provided by Ally Wiley

Provided by Ally Wiley

Can you remember a time when someone wasn’t a text message away and you had to pick up the phone and call someone to tell them you’re late? Well, that was 20 years ago.

One of our favorite forms of communication is turning 20 and think about all the things we do with texting today.  Texters can vote for their favorite American Idol singer, send money to the Red Cross and have a nasty break up conversation without having to actually talk to the other person.

Did you know the first text message ever sent was a holiday greeting? “Merry Christmas”—two tiny words composed in a virtual text history of more than a few trillion.

According to phone records, while you are reading this article approximately 75 million text messages will be sent across the globe.  Some may be warm hearted greetings and some may be drunk texts that will be regretted the second they are sent. It's hard to imagine 75 million texts being sent every five minutes when, a little more than five years ago, having a maximum limit of 200 texts a month seemed outrageous.

Things have come a very long way since 1992.  Honestly, most of us are probably too young to remember a time without texting and can’t imagine a world without it.  Over two-thirds of our age group said they would be lost without text messaging. According to a study by Acision, the age group of 18-25 sends the most messages averaging 133 messages per week. That’s almost double than any other age group.  Surprisingly men communicate via text more than women, which is funny because most of mens’ responses are short and to the point.  Show of hands; how many girls have gotten the ‘k’ message? You see? Women tend to send longer messages and talk more about relationship issues over text message. 

Among teens, texting is on the rise whereas talking on the phone seems to be dying out. Many people, usually older individuals, say that texting is ruining language skills and that our generation is going to hell in a hand basket because of texting.  Coventry University did a 10 year study that actually showed much different results.  It showed that texting actually improved children’s reading and writing skills.  This cannot include spelling, because I have gotten way too many text messages that include “u” or “ur” for me to believe this.  How much more effort does it actually take to press those two extra buttons? Think of it as finger exercises and spell the word out!

Texting has become so commonplace in our society that people make a sport out of it. The Guinness Book of World Records recorded the fastest text message ever written by Sonja Kristiansen of Norway who took 37.28 seconds to thumb: "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality, they seldom attack a human." That has got to be hard with autocorrect. Sometimes it's hard to type normal sentences, not to mention texting so furiously about piranhas.

In 20 years, texting has actually become a dangerous activity. It’s a great communication device but it can lead to some very harsh consequences.  Texters must always remember to not text and drive, sext or cyber bully. Be smart with your texts and text on.

Happy 20th birthday, texting…or, in other words, ROFL lik3 OmGz Ur oLd. LoL. G2G.

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