What ’90s child didn’t spend hours after school typing away at AOL Instant Messenger on their parents’ computer? I, for one, lived for the awful dial tone that let me know the Internet was officially firing up, and when the “door open” sound blared from my speakers as I entered a chat room, I felt a thrill.
Well, you can kiss all those memories goodbye because AIM is officially on death row and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Honestly, a lot of us are devastated despite not logging into our accounts for a good decade now (wow I’m old), and can you blame us? AIM was the building block of our entire social experience in the ’00s. If you didn’t flirt with your crush over the original DM, did you even have a crush?
So to commemorate such a beautiful, bizarre time in our lives, we asked our writers about their usernames, their away messages, and their fondest AIM memories, because why not? Let us GRIEVE.
“My sn was like xxlucky13x and my away messages were sugarcult lyrics. I used it to talk to boys I was too shy to talk to at school. Like they would walk by me and I wouldn’t say anything to them but I would talk to them on AIM later that night. I would also print out the chats and put them in my diary.”
“Mine was wildchild92m and my away messages usually had some cryptic death cab lyrics and and lol bored txt it (high school was a dark time)”
“my sn changed a bunch but i’m pretty sure at one point it was kendrahatescake. i used it almost exclusively to talk to my various boyfriends and my friends about said various boyfriends, there were always lyrics in my away message (avril, augustana, death cab, my chemical romance, panic! to name a few) and there was constant arguing in the syrdal household because i would try to log on while my mom was on the phone giving her the dreaded dial-up sound right in her ear.”
“My sn was tenleafclover (I was a child okay) and my away message was whatever emo, moody-ass song I was obsessed with at that point in time (does anyone still remember “Ohio Is For Lovers”???). Tbh I mostly just used aim to further my social justice causes by starting fights with classmates about LGBTQ rights and feminism, even though I was a quiet, gentle dove who never spoke to anyone irl.”
“xoxosmilesbabyxoxo. Used to message my crushes, leave subtle (but totally obvious) away messages to exes, and to make cool profiles with lots of colors.”
“Mine was something with my initials because my very fun (strict) catholic school told us that men were going to come find us and kill us if our screen names were clearly girl names (?????) and that scared the shit out of me and my away messages were ALWAYS “at [insert mundane activity here] call/txt :’)))))))” because I didn’t listen to cool enough music to put any lyrics”
They say breaking up is hard to do, but nothing is harder than breaking up with the fondest parts of our youth. Before we send away our beloved messenger forever, here are some last words about how AIM truly changed our lives:
Chrissy: “I almost never became friends with my best friend bc she asked for my sn in college and it was “chrizzlecouture” and she thought (rightfully) I was a basic bitch and it weirded her out.”
Kendra: “i used a lot of ~* in my away messages and it clearly made an impact to this day”
Katie: “that feeling in ur heart when ur crush signed on and the door opening sound blasted through ur computer speakers ~ * ~”
You will be dearly missed. Brb AIM, now and forever.