Smoke signals, telegraph, telephone, cellphones and texting

Dennis Warden, editor

IAt first, I was not a big fan of short messaging (SMS) services. I saw it as an inefficient use of time to broadcast news. When I wanted to communicate with another person, I found the speaking to be the easiest and clearest.

According to Wikipedia, SMS messaging was first used on December 3, 1992, when Neil Papworth, a 22-year-old test engineer for the Sema Group in the UK used a personal computer to send the “Merry Christmas” message. via the Vodafone network on the phone of Richard Jarvis who was at a party that had been organized to celebrate the event.

Texting, as it’s better known, is used at least once a week by 97% of Americans, according to the Pew Research Center, with more than 6 billion text messages sent each day in the United States alone. . That number jumps to an astounding 18.7 billion when you factor in the daily texts from around the world.

Adults aged 18-24 lead the pack, sending and receiving over 128 text messages per day.

Students (of whom I have two, including my daughter-in-law) spend an average of 94 minutes a day texting. (Journal of Behavioral Addictions)

It was in the second quarter of 2008 that texting began to explode in America – coincidentally not long after Apple’s introduction of the iPhone – as U.S. mobile subscribers sent and received more text messages per month than their customers. phone calls.

I’ve heard stories (I’m sure this doesn’t include your family) where supposedly sane people have been known to text others in the same house, even in the same room .

At first, I saw no use with texts. If I wanted to communicate with someone, I would just call them. Speech is what phones are made for. After all, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone to replace the telegraph. The telegraph machine was like text messaging on wires.

To me, it seemed like we were going backwards in communication technology – smoke signals, telegraph, telephone, cell phones and now texting.

I must admit that over the past two years I have become more accustomed to the texts. I first started texting as a quick and easy way to communicate with friends and colleagues, including in contexts where a call would be rude or inappropriate (for example, calling very late at night or when you know that the other person is engaged in family or professional activities).

In another aspect, I’ve found that texting helps me reach certain advertisers when they don’t have good enough reception to receive or make a phone call.

Another way I like to text is through groups. Connie and I communicate with our three children and their loved ones through group text. It is an effective way to send a message to everyone at the same time and then read their responses.

Finally, my last use of texts uses photographs. Many of our advertisers do not work in an office with access to a computer. A great way for us to send them proof of their ad is to send a photo of their ad via SMS.

Also, if a reader would like to submit a photo to us for use in an ad or news article, an easy way for anyone to send us that photo is to text that photo to us.

I still refuse to use a text message to have a conversation with someone. If you want more than a yes or no answer from me, I’d rather give you information the old-fashioned way, by talking.

I will not respond to a text message unless it is in the form of a question.

One of the problems we have in society is the need to respond to a text instantly. This habit, and that’s all it is, a habit can prove to be fatal when someone is driving. So I will not respond to a text while driving.

My kids, like most kids 6 and over, can text without looking at their phone screen. Young people today have no idea what it’s like to live without texting, let alone cell phones. I’m sure most can’t remember when it cost more to send and receive SMS.

On the other hand, texting and cell phones would have come in handy when I was in high school. I could have texted mum – “don’t worry, I’ll be a little late getting home tonight because someone let the air out of Ray’s tires at the truck shoot at Bland.”

Turns out she was driving into town at 1am looking for me when Ray dropped me off at the house.

Before, I didn’t have a curfew. This is an other story.

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