Before there was Siri, there was SmarterChild. And oh, what a time that was.
On October 6, the AIM account tweeted that after 20 years of instant messaging, the service would be shutting down on December 15, 2017.
And that time, my friends, has arrived.
AIM was an integral part of my youth, and now, I weep for the pre-teens who will never have the chance to experience what was considered instant communication in the way that I did. I look back fondly on these times of yore: planning the hour in which all of my friends would be available to log onto a chat room to divulge in middle school gossip with one another (it was always 7:45- enough time to get home from basketball and do homework before logging on). Downloading icons and smiley face packages that were most representative of the real me was the ultimate form of customization and self-expression.
Gone are the days of cliché, agenda-style away messages (“at the mall with the girls…then getting dinner…bbml…celly*~) and laboring over your profile, diligently selecting snippets of conversation exchanged between users that perfectly display just how funny you and your friends are. No longer will people have the opportunity to rearrange their buddy lists according to social circle, or click the eyeball that left you invisible when you were avoiding speaking to someone in particular.
Farewell to SUPER buddy profiles with customizable pages that publicly kept track of how often you looked at someone’s page (when you’re curious about how people present themselves and are also a little nosy like I am, you’ll get burned) and beginning every conversation the same way, always: hey. hey. sup? nmjc u? same. so what do you want to talk about?
Thanks for enough cringe-y memories to last a lifetime, AIM. I’ll miss you.