Messaging – Things that are surprisingly older in the internet world

Text messaging made the people forget the basic functionalities of the phone.


    Just imagine the world without telephones or computers? How to convey the messages to the dear ones staying away from us? It is not an unimaginable situation because even before the computers and telephones emerged, people used to communicate with others staying in another corner of the world.

    Messaging – Things that are surprisingly older in the internet world

    But the way used to communicate differs from the way we are using right now. They made use of objects, birds, and other means to transfer the data from one corner to the other. As technology evolved, people started using the current products in the market that helped them in fulfilling their requirement. Let us dig deep into the history of messaging and see what are the different modes of data transfer used by the people.

    Before the emergence of technology

    People used smoke as a means of communication in the old ages. Smoke is the visual way to communicate, people used it to warn others of upcoming enemy attacks.

    Later, they started using pigeons to convey the message by writing a small note on a piece of paper, which is then inserted in a metal canister and attached to the pigeon's leg. These pigeons were trained to deliver those letters to a particular recipient and then return home.

    In the 16th century, military forces tried to convey the information regarding enemy attacks by using bottles containing a sheet of enrolled paper inside it and then dropping it into the sea. As we dig deeper, we will get to know that our ancestors used various alternatives to successfully pass the data.

    When Telegrams and Telephones pitched in

    Just prior to the emergence of these two technologies, people made use of Pony Express and balloon mails to transfer the data. If Pony Express took 10 days to reach the recipient, the balloon mail was used to transport the mail within a closed society to broadcast the messages to the people.

    As technology started developing slowly, everyone wanted to keep them updated with the current trend and henceforth, they started using telegrams and telephones at a slow pace. The speed in which message got conveyed increased rapidly compared to the other tools used a few years back.

    Fax machines and Pagers

    Dates back to 1880's, people used fax machines to send digital documents over phone line within a fraction of a minute. This mode of transfer replaced courier mails and telegrams gradually.

    Later, the pager was introduced to this world, which can also be referred as a ‘beeper'. It is a tiny device designed to rest on the hips, notifies you with a beep when someone tries to contact you.

    Concept of SMS and cell phones

    When looked back, you will get to know that the first text message was sent on December 3rd, 1992. It was sent by Neil Papworth who is a former developer at Sema Group Telecoms.

    Since cellphones did not come with keyboards by then, he used the personal computer to type the message "Merry Christmas" and send it to his friend Richard Jarvis at Vodafone.

    Later, in 1993, Nokia manufactured a first mobile handset which was capable of sending SMS text messages between friends. They are also known for introducing the first cell phone- Nokia 9000i Communicator with a full keyboard in 1997.

    Here comes IM’ing and Texting

    As internet began to make noise everywhere, people started getting attracted to it. They involved in Instant Messaging (IM) to quickly deliver the messages to the friends. ICQ can be considered as the first stand-alone IM, whereas AOL is a pioneer in this segment who launched ‘AIM', a popular IM tool in early 1997.

    Along with the IM, people began to use mobile apps to text. According to few sources, people spend more time on texting rather than just speaking on the phone. Especially, after the availability of messaging apps for free, fingers started playing more than ever on the smartphone touch screens.


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