NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Texting has become a huge part of the daily lives of billions of people around the world, so it's easy to forget that SMS, the most widely-used text messaging service, has only been around for 20 years.
On December 3, 1992, the first text message was transmitted from a PC in the United Kingdom to a cell phone. The message: Merry Christmas.
At that time, cell phones could only receive (but not send) text messages. Today, phone users all across the globe rely on the service.
A Pew Internet Research study found 80% of cell phone users use their mobile device to send or receive text messages- many use their phones primarily for texting and rarely make calls. Indeed, for a significant portion of the world's population, living without text messaging now seems unimaginable.
"I really don't even like to have a voicemail or calls or anything like that. If they just had a text messaging plan, then that's what I would do," Jackie Kidd of Holyoke said.
While SMS text messaging is now 20 years old, it didn't really catch on right away. It wasn't until 1994 that users were able to send and receive text messages from a mobile device, and it took almost another decade before text messaging became commonplace.