The humble text message is celebrating turning twenty-five years old, but not a lot has changed over the years in terms of content, it has emerged.
In a revealing interview with the first person ever to send a text message, it transpires that the message was not ‘Merry Christmas’ as had been originally reported, but was instead a request for cheeky pictures.
Simon Williams, the software engineer in charge of developing the Short Message Service for mobile phones, recalled the magical moment that texting was launched telling us, “We had all the connections set up and ready to go, so it was just a case of typing a message and clicking send.
“I had the phone in my hand and the computer in front of me, and although I knew that there was no way that my message could be sent to anyone other than myself or my colleague Colin, something primal and instinctive took over and before I knew what I was doing I just typed ‘SEND NUDES’ and clicked send. I don’t know what came over me, as it were.
“Obviously my colleague looked at me in an odd way but I think he could sympathise with my impulsive message, and we never spoke of it again.”
He went on, “But now 25 years have passed, I can really see what a difference texting has made to the world.
“It was an amazing breakthrough. No longer did we have to actually telephone a girl and yell ‘SEND NUDES’ down the phone – which sounds at best creepy and at worst incredibly threatening – we could now do it from a distance with little or no repercussions.
“That’s technology for you. You’re welcome, everyone.”