Today’s TBT is the grandfather of the iMessage: AOL Instant Messenger. Back in the days when dial-up was standard, our parents knew that if we were on the internet, there was no way they were going to be using the phone. Sorry bout it.
AIM was our preferred mode of communication after school. Before text messaging became legit, we loved AIM because it gave us the freedom to talk shit in multiple chat windows. Phones are so boring because you can only have one convo at a time, like who does that?
The abbrevs we love so much started in AIM, where we learned the difference situations to use lol and ROFL and where we learned to ghost bros without even a g2g or ttyl. By far the best part of AIM was the buddy profile, but the away message takes a close second. Only nice girls and computer nerds actually used the standard “I am away from my computer right now” message. Betches wrote clever flirty shit like “If you were my homework I’d be doing you on my desk right now” or announced when we were going to take a shower (whoops now you’re imagining me naked) in the middle of talking to Brad so that Brad would ask us to the Back 2 Skool dance.
The buddy profile was the original Instagram for posting song lyrics and inspirational quotes. Sure, that shit was annoying and still is, but who hasn’t quoted lyrics from “Hands Down” or “I hope you dance” at one point in their life? I meaannnn.
You could tell a lot about a betch by who was in her buddy list, and like, who was in her top friends category. When someone pissed us off, we used the warning option to fuck with their rate limit. But also, sometimes we did it out of love, just because it was fucking funny. Betches always had at least four AIM windows up, and it’s the only thing that made coming home to do homework less vom-worthy.
So, to the little yellow running man, we thank you for bringing us into the age of instant communication. You gave us our first platform to show the world how witty we were in teen betchhood and we’ll never forget our first screenname.