By Heather Kelly
(CNN) — It’s been hailed for its succinctness and blamed for everything from sore thumbs to the decline of conversation. Love it or hate it, the text message is 20 years old.
The first-ever text message was sent December 3, 1992, by software engineer Neil Papworth, to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis, who received the message on his husky Orbitel 901 cell phone. It read simply, “Merry Christmas.”
As of Monday, the text is no longer in its teens — the age group it’s probably most associated with. In fact, it’s more of a senior citizen in technology years.
At just 190 bytes and 160 characters, the modest text message isn’t the most glamorous or elaborate form of communication, and that’s a major reason it’s become so pervasive.
Texting is popular around the world, across age groups and cultures, because it is simple, concise, and compatible with every…
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