Today the humble text message turns twenty. It was in 1992 that the first text message was sent an engineer from Vodafone, sent the message “Merry Christmas” from a PC to a mobile device using Vodafone’s UK network.
I don’t recall the first text message I sent, but it was one technology that I have never really taken advantage of. The average number of text messages sent per month is fifty, in November I sent twenty-five. I only really started sending text messages when I got my first iPhone. I think my problem was with predictive text or even understanding texting language. The advantage of the iPhone was a proper keyboard and not needing to try and use a numeric keypad. I could never get my head around the numeric keypad and did like and prefer the qwerty keyboard.
Still have that today when people send me texts, sometimes I have no idea what they are trying to say! I know, I know, I am getting old…
There are signs from Ofcom that the use of texting has peaked and is on a decline. However I suspect there are many colleges and universities out there which are not making the most of SMS and in many ways you could argue that they have missed the boat on this. Unless you are at the point of a mainstream rollout, I would say now is not the time to start researching or planning, or setting up a project on SMS texting. Still time to make the most of it with students perhaps in the classroom, but even then maybe using a different service would be a better idea.