The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > All Thumbs, Without the Stigma "Having initially boomed in Europe and Asia, text messaging has now invaded the United States with full force. In the first quarter of 2004, 2.6 billion text messages were sent on cellphones in the United States, an increase from 1.2 billion in the comparable period a year earlier, according to the Yankee Group, a market research firm.
In the process, reliance on the thumb to type has re-established its place in the hierarchy of the hand. "The thumb is the new power digit," said Edward Tenner, a science historian for the Smithsonian Institution who has spent time thinking about the interaction between hand and machine.
Dr. Tenner, in "Our Own Devices: The Past and Future of Body Technology" (Knopf, 2003), said that the thumb's role in operating keyboards became prominent 250 years ago with the advent of the musical keyboard, but then was diminished in stature by banishment to the space bar of the typewriter. Now, he said, it is "enjoying a second renaissance."
Uh, if you say so...