1 Telegram to Billions of SMS

On August 20th, 1911, a dispatcher at the New York times sent the first telegram around the world, welcoming in an era of worldwide connectivity. Granted, the telegram wasn’t instantaneous, and needed to be patched through several operators. The message took 16.5 minutes to reach around the world.

Today, we’re in an uproar if a text message takes more than a few seconds to go through. Of course, 97 years later, we connect on a global scale billions of times every day, so we don’t have time for 16.5 minute delays. In fact, we’re unfathomably hyper connected, with:

  • several billion iMessages sent every day
  • 50 billion What’s App messages sent every day
  • 17.6 billion SMS messages sent per day

It doesn’t stop there. We tweet, post to Instagram, and share on Facebook constantly,  and that content is accessible around the world nearly instantly. So, before you curse at your phone the next time a tweet or text takes a few moments to go through, just imagine yourself in 1911, when you had the telegram.

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