Neil Papworth, inventor of text messaging
Tech Crunch – On December 3rd, 1992 in the little town of Newbury, Berkshire, a UK programmer sent his best mate a few lines of greeting using a unique new technique called Short Messaging Service. The programmer, Neil Papworth, was a test engineer for the Sema Group, and sent the message via PC to the phone of Richard Jarvis, a Vodafone employee. The message was “Merry Christmas.” Vodafone intended the service as a fun and easy way to communicate internally. That obviously wasn’t the case. It took seven years after that first message for texting to take off, but now nearly 8 trillion messages cross the air every year. Adults 18-25 send 133 messages a week each.
You know the old story about how penicillin was invented by accident? Or how the scientists who created the atomic bomb regretted their hand in creating such a weapon of destruction? I wonder if thats how Neil Papworth feels about text messaging. Some dorky dude creates “SMS” to send Merry Christmas messages to his coworkers and 20 years later dudes are sending pictures messages of their dicks to sluts they met at the bar the night before. Guy just wanted to be able to chat with his best friend and now he created a monster.
I, for one, think text messaging is the greatest invention since the TV remote control. Has completely changed the landscape of getting laid as we know it. Completely revolutionized the game. As a guy who’s much funnier when it comes to written words, I probably never would have gotten laid without texting. So happy birthday, Text Messaging. Thank you for 20 years of being able to casually string girls along without ever having to speak to them. Thank you for providing a way to talk dirty to chicks and say shit you ordinarily would never have the balls to say to their faces. Thank you for the exhilarating moment when you say something horrendously over the top and kinky and throw your phone across the room because you don’t know if you should have sent it. Thank you for providing a quick and easy way for girls to make poor decisions and send you naked pictures. Damn you for driving me absolutely insane sometimes. Damn you for making me question myself and my game if a chick doesn’t text me back right away. Damn you for making it so easy to reach out to exes when you’re drunk at night. Damn you for being a ball and chain letting your girlfriend always keep tabs on you.
But mostly thank you for being able to text a booty call at 1am saying “You out?” and turning that into a late night blow job. Neil Papworth – you magnificent bastard.