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How-To Geek

Texting: Then and Now [Comic]

A lot sure has changed in the last two decades, no?

[via Endless Origami]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/8/12

Comments (4)

  1. Anon

    I remember. Two decades ago in 1992 there were still pagers! In fact, I used a pager for work as late as 1998 simply because it was a whole lot less expensive. That’s not really “texting” but it sort of was.

    But if you wanted to text someone, it was often done through a somewhat new invention called email which was still mostly accessed via a BBS or through a major service provider like Compuserve or America Online. The Internet and even something called Fidonet was around then (in 1992) and you could send text messages, but it was nowhere near as portable or as affordable as it is now.

    Back them it was simply less expensive to just call someone – or stop and make a call once you were paged. Now, it’s less expensive to just text them (and hopefully not walk into a sinkhole or something). Therefore, I don’t see it so much as an advancement in technology as it was a change in economics – or at least a change in the billing process. And somehow I’m not exactly sure all this texting is such a good thing either – it’s very distracting.

  2. jimmy

    Also back then, we used to text really quickly, one handed, without looking at the screen, on our tiny phone, while it was in our pocket (so teacher wouldnt see).

    Now, we need two hands and have to do it really slowly on the big wide touch screens. Some people even need to use a stylus!

    It’s like the technology is going backwards.

  3. DB

    I remember when using the internet meant keeping a list of BBS phone numbers to dial!

    1982. The good old days…

  4. James

    @jimmy

    You are absolutely right. I cannot stand texting on smartphones. I love my smartphone for internet, e-mail and maps but it downright sucks for texting.

    In 1999, I could stop by taco shop on my way to work, order a burrito and then eat that while sending out text messages on my way to work. Today, I can barely even use my Android to make a phone call to someone in my contacts list while sitting on the couch.

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