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20 yrs n goin shrtr n strng

25/05/2012

It used to be a soap dish with an antenna, with monotone alerts and ringtones… maybe an added feature like the torch light made the mobile phone exciting. Two decades since your mobile phone was capable of only phone calls, SMS and top score on snake, life has changed for you and your touch screen, Android-enabled mutant, but the SMS hasn’t changed.

What is the expansion of SMS? Don’t remember? Or has that been replaced by acronyms like BBM and FB? For your dose of daily fun facts — did you know that 2012 marks the 20{+t}{+h}anniversary of the short message service? It has been 20 years since the first text message was sent in 1992 by Brit Neil Papworth who texted ‘Happy Christmas’ from his work computer to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis on his Orbitel 901 handset, at a staff Christmas party.

But researchers say that the SMS continues to be the most widely used mobile data service, with over two-thirds of the world’s population having access to the service. However text message usage can be demarcated by age, with teenagers between 13 and 17 making the most significant contribution to the more than six trillion messages that are sent out annually.

“I know children who bring phones to school, sit in class and are sending messages while hiding their phones under the desks. It is shocking the things one can do with a mobile phone these days,” says school teacher, Mimi Dominic.

SMS has also gone to the next level with world records being tracked and noted. In 2009, a Norwegian girl, Sonja Kristiansen set the world record for the fastest SMS, her record time is 37.28 seconds to type ‘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.’

Susannah Varughese, mother of teenaged children, says, “In this new age where technology is ubiquitous, we cannot fight it. But lines have to be drawn, for instance at home the kids are not allowed to use their phones at the dining table.” Texting has also shown an increase in the cases of tenosynovitis, which is an inflammation in the lining of the sheath that surrounds a tendon. Like someone witty said, it is like tennis elbow, but smaller and less sporty. Dr. Saji, St. Johns’ Hospital, says, “This is a repeated stress injury, where the tendons get inflamed due to stress. Age is not a factor; younger people have this condition because of messaging and the computer.”

Around six years ago, a lecturer received an entire paper written in text language. The student passed. With the urgency to get a message across quickly and within the constraint of 160 characters, came the popularity of SMS language, which linguists say will result in low literacy and bad spelling. But just for the sake of that pivotal change in communication, go ahead and send a text message today. Hv a gr8 day. Cu 2mrw…. source Hindu

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