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      OMG! First Text Message Sent 20 Years Ago

      (CNN) - Monday is a special anniversary for the communications industry. It was 20 years ago that Neil Papworth sent the first-ever text message.

      He had to use a computer terminal to send the message to a colleague's cellphone: "Merry Christmas."

      "Texting" had a slow start, but eventually it surged in popularity, especially when it became cheaper than calling.

      It is the single most-widely used application in the world; 81 percent of mobile phone subscribers use it.

      Now, free alternatives like instant messaging apps are becoming more and more popular, and text messaging is in decline.

      Copyright 2012 CNN. All rights reserved.

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