It’s a sad, sad day for ’90s kids everywhere, because AOL Instant Messenger is retiring. RIP, our childhoods. Of course, very few of us out there have used AOL Instant Messenger (aka AIM) in at least a decade, but that doesn’t mean we’re not ~*~ToTaLLy HeArTbRoKeN~*~ over its demise.
And now that AIM is no longer, that also means we’re saying goodbye to AIM away messages, which were truly home to some of the most ~savage~ words on the internet. Yep, the youths these days might subtweet and slide right into those DMs, but millennials of a certain age will no doubt remember all the times they used their AIM away message as a way to send angsty messages to everyone from their parents to their posse. Ah, the good old days.
1They were truly the original subtweet.
Nowadays, when you’re mad at someone and want to let ’em know how you feel without directly telling them (oh, the horror!), you just send out a shady subtweet without including their name or Twitter handle. But back then, if you wanted to passive-aggressively shout someone out, you put it all in your away message, which was kinda the first digital version of the Burn Book, if we’re being honest.
2They were the original Facebook status.
Ever cringe when you see your aunt’s politically charged Facebook status or your weird cousin’s rants about…well, who cares? Think back to your old AIM away messages, and remember that your content was once much more ~cringeworthy~.
3Everyone bragged about how popular they were.
In 2017, you can’t hang out with your #squad without posting a selfie to prove that you’re an actual human who spends time with other humans, but back in the day, your away message was the spot to brag about your bitchin’ social life. Even if you were merely hanging out in your pal’s basement, you absolutely had to let your entire buddy list know what was going down. No chill in sight.
4Your inside jokes became the quickest way to exclude people you didn’t like.
If you weren’t there, you just won’t get it…LOL.
5They were the first version of internet trolling.
S/O to your HaTerZ. ~*mwah*~
6They were one of the earliest digital resources for handling heartbreak in a VeRy PuBLiC WaY
Back then, there were no inspirational quotes on Instagram or moody selfies on Facebook — we all poured our angst over our middle school breakups via song lyrics by Dashboard Confessional, Bright Eyes, Coldplay, and Dave Matthews Band. ~tears~
7They gave the illusion of mystery.
You could pretend like you were away, when you were actually sitting at the computer, ignoring Becky from 5th period. That is, until the Idle feature, when everyone suddenly knew if you were really there or just lying.
R.I.P. AIM away messages. 143 xoxo && thnks fr th mmrs!