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SMS in a Brief History

SMS, which stands for short message service, have been around longer than many people realize. Many sources state that this modality of messages has been utilized at some capacity since the early to middle part of the 1980’s. The utilization of multiple devices such as home computers, hand held radios, cell phones and even home phones allow for the user to type a brief message and send it through purely electronic means to the intended recipient. The advent of this was not heralded into mainstream consciousness until roughly fifteen years later, around the turn of the twenty first century. It was by this time that advances in technology were sufficiently developed to support texting and its utilization as an easy means of communication by the masses.

The steep rate of increase that was appreciated by this means of communication almost defies description. Around the year 2000, the number of text messages sent worldwide numbered in the millions per month.  At the end of 2010 the amount of these had ballooned to over six trillion sent per month. The rate of this growth was most certainly aided by the advancement in cell phone technologies around this time frame. It simply cannot go without stating how these two are interconnected. It is almost impossible to conceive a cell phone today that does not text. When you take into account how many people are utilizing this a primary means to communicate these days, it is not difficult to imagine the rate of text message usage will continue to increase at a marked pace well into the future.

Thinking of this phenomena even in brief terms naturally begs a question or two about its place and future in our world. If so much information is being exchanged in this nonverbal fashion, is this the initiation of a host of ways that humans could evolve into a world that exists completely without verbal communication? Is the information sent via mobile devices by text more vulnerable to being intercepted than other types? Are there any lessons to be learned about human behavior in examining how quickly and intrinsically we as a species adapted to a nonverbal form of communication? Many more questions could be drawn from this topic, these are just a few. Simply stated, SMS has come of age and likely will evolve even more as time passes and become even more a part of the human experience than it  already is.

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