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Text Messaging Turns 20

|Dec 3|magazine6 min read

 

Text messaging technology has officially seen two decades. The first text message, sent by engineer Nial Papworth, shared well wishes for the holidays, a short “Merry Christmas.”  Today, text messaging is an important part of daily communication.

Even further, in some demographics, a text message holds equal importance to a phone call. According to a Simmons National Consumer Study, 48 percent of Americans aged 18-24 believe a conversation via text message is as meaningful as over the phone. While Americans aged 25-34 agree, with 47 percent seeing text conversations as holding weight.

The text message isn’t just for the young anymore, but also the young at heart. In an average week, 95 percent of American adults with cell phones talk on the phone with text messaging weekly reaching 59 percent. In the 18-24 demographic 89 percent talk on their phone while 89 percent text.

 

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In the end, texting is still more popular with younger demographics with interesting figures for text messages by hour. Text messages are sent around the clock from the early morning to late evening. One astounding figure proves just how much texting is being utilized. Whether awake or asleep, 37 percent of 18-24 year old Americans receive text messages at 4 am.

The creator of the text message probably did not realize just how much text messages would become a part of the population’s daily life. While texting is popular now, it still is second to mobile calls. For 18-24 year olds, texting is more popular in the late hours from 11 pm to 6 am, utilized as a means of communication when recipients are probably asleep.