While the features and capabilities of smartphones have run away with themselves, vastly expanding what mobile devices can do, the humble text message still remains one of a phone’s most important functions.
Free instant messaging services like WhatsApp may well be replacing the older, network-based messages, but the idea of quickly tapping out a short sentence or two before sending it off to a friend is still something that pretty much all mobile users regularly do. Here we take a look at some of the most famous text messages that have ever been sent.
The first text
The very first text message was sent on 3 December 1992 by British engineer Neil Papworth. The text was actually typed on a computer and sent to Papworth’s Orbitel 901 mobile phone, heralding a new era of short, written communications. The message itself? A simple greeting of “Merry Christmas”.
The Guiness Book of World Records actually recognises speed-texting amongst its listings, with the current record holder being a man named Mark Encarnacion. The record revolves around typing the sentence “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality, they seldom attack a human” on a touchscreen device.
Encarnacion achieved this feat in 20.53 seconds, in an event held outside Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters on 24 April 2013.
It was in 1999 that one of the first recorded text message marriage proposals was made, by a Salesman called Grant Strange. His to-the-point text to his long-term girlfriend read “Will you marry me?” and was answered with an emphatic “Yes, Yes, Yes, XXX”.
By 2008 text messages had long since become commonplace amongst the millions of people using mobile phones across the world, but it was then US presidential hopeful Barack Obama who turned them to a new purpose. On 23 August of that year, Obama sent a group message to his supporters reading “I’ve chosen Joe Biden as my running mate”, seen as a cutting-edge move at the time.
The man who would become president has long been associated with mobile devices and was regularly pictured tapping out messages on a BlackBerry handset before taking office.
Along with the most famous text messages in history, we recently took a look at some of the most important phone calls ever to have taken place, including one that lasted over 54 hours. You can find out more about them here.