The 1861 Version Of Text Messaging

from the had-its-own-shorthand dept

It’s always interesting to see parallels in history to today’s new technologies, and the folks over 160characters have a great column outlining all of the similarities between postcards in the latter half of the 19th century and SMS text messaging today. Both were faster, more efficient ways of communicating with people far away, often cheaper than other methods, and with only a small area to input your text. Also, with the rise of cameras, postcards added photos, making them a bit more like MMS.

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Comments on “The 1861 Version Of Text Messaging”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Texting

What’s wrong with morse code?

Granted there is no reason to use it on a daily basis, but it’s great for using in emergencies. What do you do if you are in a situation where you don’t have a real radio setup and you have a serious emergency? You can relatively easily build a dipole antenna and hook it up so you can transmit morse code.

Nothing beats morse code when it comes to that. It’s likely not something the average person will need to know for daily usage, but that ONE time is all it takes to justify knowing it.

SMS is not like Morse code. Frankly I disagree with this article. I don’t think it’s like postcards at all. I don’t think there is anything that it parallels. The technology is perhaps aligned with the aims of postcards, but the cultural developments is what makes SMS what it is.

I find it mostly annoying, but with some good applications.

suv4x4 says:

It'll repeat few more times...

… 2043: “beam text messages from your brain to the brain of your friends! just think of it and it’s sent! no more wasting time typing on tiny keyboards!”

… 2047: “new and improved! beam text AND multimedia content from your brain to the brain of your friends! just see or hear something and it’s sent the moment you so desire!”

Professor HighBrow says:

Re: Always interesting to see the past repeat itse

We’re out for a faster, gentler way to communicate.
MMS does have parallels with a postcard, except it gets there faster and it costs more than 15 cents.
And you’ll read it and immediatatly delete it (throw it in the garbage) just the same.

I’m not sure how useful Morse code really is other than SOS —…— however. I might have that backwards, actually. The problem is that hardly anyone knows Morse code anyhow…bust out the GI Joe Walkie-Talkies so you can communicate with your friends in the treehouse and the pup-tent in the backyard.

“Those whom do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it” is one of the most intelligent statements I’ve ever heard. And so we have, we learned that postcards were lame, and so are MMS messages of your friend and his new lover on the beach in the Bahamas with a photo of some half-naked fat rich people splashing in the clear blue waters and a message that says “Wish you were here, the babes rock.”

There is no point to the above paragraph at all. Sorry.

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