On July 14, someone somewhere in India will tap out what is being called the world's last telegram. India's state-owned telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, has been holding out as other countries around the world retire their antiquated telegraph services. Now, after delaying the move for two years, the business operating what is considered to be the world's last telegraph service is finally ready to pull the plug, saying telegrams are no longer commercially viable in the age of digital communications.
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Of course, few people are shocked that India is giving up on a technology that got its start nearly 170 years ago, when Samuel Morse sent the first telegraph message in Washington in 1844. "We're not sure if it's more surprising to learn that the last telegram in the world will be sent next month... or that people are still sending telegrams somewhere," says Ruth Brown at Newser.
Sending a telegram wasn't just a desire for speedy contact. It was also a signal of something's importance. Telegrams went both to people who achieved great things and to families who had loved ones killed in war. Much has been written about how we're never out of touch in the digital age. Not enough has been explored about the fact that every message is now of equal importance.