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OMG! The text message turns 20

Published On: Dec 02 2012 07:00:00 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 03 2012 06:10:39 PM EST

There was a time when Americans didn't write words like LOL or OMG.


There was a time when Americans didn't write words like LOL or OMG, but 20 years ago Monday, the first text message was sent, and we haven't been the same since.

Some moms and kids at Grings Mill in Spring Twp., Berks Co., were making bird feeders out of peanut butter, oranges, pine cones, and seeds. They are low-tech, but it took some high-tech smartphones to bring everyone together.

"We were texting a lot this morning," said Ildiko Veres, of Temple.


"All the things that we needed to do, whether we ate, whether one of us needed to stop and get something to eat, which entrance are you meeting at, I'm at the wrong entrance," said Alex McCarty. "That sort of thing."

McCarty said she relies on her phone.

"I hardly ever talk," said McCarty, mother of two and business owner. "There's always a lot going on, and texting is a way to communicate quickly and efficiently without getting caught in anything and without any background noise."

The person who sent the first message did so from his computer to a colleague's phone, and maybe he was inspired by all the holiday decorations because the first text message said, “Merry Christmas.”

"I don't think it changed a lot," said Veres, who moved to the United States from Hungary 13 years ago. "I remember when I came to this country, I could text message on my cell phone and nobody knew what was going on."

In about a year, Veres said that quickly changed. Her son, Bence Veres, said he can't imagine life without it.

"A world without phones, you'd have to walk a thousand miles to talk to somebody in Chicago," said Bence, 10.

After 20 years with texting, we don't have to do that anymore.