Since betches are always in high demand, over time the world has gradually created new portals through which we can be reached. Whether your computer-generated choice of communication is Ichat, Gchat, Facebook chat, or screaming through your hallway, the days of AOL instant messenger will always have a place in our hearts. This week we’re taking a few minutes to reflect on the days of screen names, profiles, away messages, and most of all, the premiere method of cyber shit talking of the 21st century.
As a tween choosing the perfect screen name was the hardest decision you had to make next to picking the venue of your your 12th birthday party and contemplating if it was normal that the boy with whom you shared your first kiss had a gigantic boner. This task was a delicate one, and as a betch-in-training you weren’t about to associate yourself with something infantile like jenna412 or kimberly89. Amateurs. This was your SCREEN NAME, your online nameplate. This wasn’t the time to fuck around. You already had a host of monogrammed jewelry so this was an opportunity to get creative. Had curly hair? Curlgurl97. Loved tennis? SGtennis810. Thought you were too good for everyone? AP2good4u.
Everyone knew that you were only as cool as the number of buddies on your buddy list. Ew, you have 55 total? I have more than 100 JUST on my BFFAE group list. Organizing your friends into categories and arranging them in the order of most liked to least was the only way betches knew how to use AIM. You have your camp besties, then your school besties, then the randos you met in Mexico. Place them in the wrong group and risk confusion as to why this boy whose SN was in group camp bffles was asking you to send him the picture of you two sharing a piña colada while getting your hair braided.
Let’s talk about AIM linguistics. When your bestie shot you one too many “ct”s you knew the bitch was pissed. WHY ARE YOU ONLINE IF YOU CAN’T TALK?! The abbrev LOL being used to actually mean something was funny brings us back to a time when the world was a simple place and an ‘nm u‘ was all you needed to catch up with your crew.
But more often than not, you pretty much knew everyone who was on your BL, not because you guys were so close, but because over time you became very familiar with their AIM profiles. Yes, we’re bringing back the profile. Remember how important it was to update this weekly if not daily? Your substitute teacher just sang “Who Let the Dogs Out” in the middle of class? OMG that has to go in my profile. English class period 6 LOLZ. Your BFF Sam tried to ask your science teacher when the test and the practical were but instead asked “Mrs. Gordon, when is the testicle?” Now that’s going in my profile. LOLZ Sammyy <3.
Of course after the 15-20 bulleted point list of HILARIOUS inside jokes, it was absolutely necessary to insert a very lighthearted and age-appropriate lyrical quote about love. Common ones included, “My hopes are so high that your kiss might kill me. So won’t you kill me, so I die happy” and of course, “And will you tell all your friends you’ve got your gun to my head. This all was only wishful thinking, this all was only wishful thinking. ” If you did not have a boyfriend at the time, it was still socially acceptable and most of the time encouraged to choose quotes that showed you are vulnerable and had the slightest clue what the fuck these songs were about and yet had only a slightly suicidal vibe.
However, if you did have a boyfriend or were with a guy who you wanted to date, there was nothing you looked forward to more—besides next spring’s collection of SoLow—than putting your boyfriend‘s name, in pink, with a heart, your anniversary date, and a few tildes, at the bottom of your profile. ~~ Bryan <3 2/14/03 ~~ Sure, after seeing this at the bottom of your Info someone could potentially confuse this sign of affection for a declaration of death, but who gives a shit? You’re the one with a boy’s name on your profile. Omg BRYAN’S DEAD!? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN!?
And of course we can’t forget to mention Picture Trails. Before Facebook, betches needed a place to upload their pictures so that all their friends’ friends could see how much of an amazing time we always had at camp, school, and vaca. We also can’t forget to take this last second to delve into the most amazing thing since Twitter, the away message.
Whether you were stepping away from your computer just to go downstairs, pretending like you had other things to do than sit at your computer, or were trying to ignore someone, you would always put up an away message. Because you spent your days after school on AIM checking and rechecking the away message of every single one of your buddies, drafting the perfect away message was a high-skilled craft at which the only smartest of betches excelled. Feeling melancholy? Throw in any quote from Simple Plan and/or the Titanic. Only stepping away for a second and don’t want your crush to think you left? Brb. Have to shit really bad? Out to lunch!
But remember betches, technology always changes but the game stays the same. Just like with texting or friending, true betches were never the IMers, they were always the IMed. And everyone knows MSN was for fatties and foreigners.