Text messaging or commonly called texting is the process of sending short messages from a mobile phone. The latest mobile phones are capable of sending as much as 20 pages containing 160 characters. These messages are commonly called SMS, texts or text messages.
Text messaging technology uses an SMS gateway to hook up any mobile SMS service to an existing instant message service, Word Wide Web, PDA devices, personal computers and to any landline phone. Some devices with Bluetooth devices can connect to a mobile phone similar to a modem sending SMS through wireless networks. SMS have been widely used with either GSM or non GSM systems.
Basically, text messaging intends to provide a means of sending message to one person to another no matter where they are as long as there is signal coverage from the mobile providers. This service is also used for automated systems primarily for the purpose of purchasing products and services for mobile phone. Text messaging is also widely used in many contests.
According to some companies, the first ever text message was sent during 1989 by Edward Lantz who is a former NASA employee. The text message was sent through a Motorola beeper. The message was consist of numbers which is read upside down in order to read the message.
On December 3, 1992 in the United Kingdom, the first SMS messaging was used in a commercial sent through a Vodafone GSM network. The SMS message was sent by Neil Papworth with the use of a desktop computer. The SMS contains the word Merry Christmas sent to Richard Jarvis from Vodafone through a handset device model Orbitel 901. For the GSM systems, the first SMS using a Nokia phone was sent by an engineering student, Riku Pihkonen.
At first, text messaging did not gain popularity immediately since it was designed primarily for the hearing impaired. Since 1995 only a few messages were sent through SMS. But during the year 2000, there have been a gradual increase in the use of text messaging.
As the text messaging system developed, more and more people switched to texting as a cheaper form of communication. Based on statistics, Finland, Norway and Sweden have 72% of the total population are using text messaging. In Europe and North America, there are over 85% users of SMS.
Among the Asian countries, the Philippines have the largest population of mobile subscribers who uses text messaging as a means of communication. An average of 20 text messages is being sent daily by a subscriber. Because of this, the Philippines have been considered as the text capital of the world. On 2007 alone, there are 42.70 million people who are subscribers of mobile phones.
According to the Global Messaging Survey conducted by Nokia, text messaging has been proven to be an addictive activity. It was confirmed by a study by the University of Queensland which is based in Australia.
It is interesting to note that text messaging brought about a text lingo. These are abbreviations of words developed to save on character space, and because inputting complete words are more tiresome. Another reason is that most mobile phones do not have QWERTY keyboards of personal computers.