It’s a form of messaging that now seems almost as antiquated as the Pony Express. And these days, it’s going the way of the Pony Express, too.
SMS has officially killed off telegrams in many parts of the world. And soon, this ancient artifact of communication will be extinct altogether.
If you’re too young to even know what a telegraph is or how it worked, here’s the definition:
A telegram is a written message transmitted by using an electric device and a huge web of wires. Telegrams used to be very widely used, but are not as popular anymore now that most people who would have used them to communicate can use telephones and e-mail.
In some places, like India, telegrams will officially take their dirt nap beginning July 15th. Blamed on the advent of SMS text messages, a telegraphic service began in India 163 years ago will cease to exist on that date.
According to the Times of India, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) “has decided to discontinue the service which started the Indian telecom revolution in 1850.”
“The telegram had lost its relevance,” a senior BSNL official tells the publication. “The basic idea of a taar was to send a message fast. Now SMS, fax and emails do that job. With smart phones, people send and receive emails on the move. So when we sought government support to keep the telegram alive, we were asked to decide its fate on a commercial basis and hence will now be discontinuing the service.”