Sophia Elias
December 01, 2014 10:00 am

Before Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, we kept tabs on each other via AOL Instant Messenger. Remember that? Aside from the whole err . . . instant messaging thing, there was no better place to express your adolescent busyness and angst than via an artfully-crafted, situationally-appropriate, arduously-deliberated over away message. Many times those away messages were perfectly chosen song lyrics (who didn’t use, “Park that car/ Drop that phone/ Sleep on the floor/ Dream about me” as an away message at least once?) Away messages were also the best way to make secret meta communication with you crush who (fingers crossed) would sort of know the message was directed at them.

Away messages were the first time we really realized that it simply wasn’t enough to just leave your screen life to go, say, take a shower — oh no. Our shower times were spelled out in neon green Comic Sans font. Keep in mind, this was happening in a pre-emoji world, so we really had to get creative. Those of you with more extravagant taste knew how to make ~*homework*~ look exceptionally cool. Not to mention, keyboard illustrations of bunnies were a surefire way to get you noticed by your classmates.

Sometimes though we had to bring out the big guns and the best way to take an away message up a notch was to hit your chat friends with some HQ lyrical content. Let’s be real, whether you’re feeling deep and introspective, or outlandish and goofy, music always has your back. So we thought we’d do a little experiment. Granted, your away message game is probably not be as clutch as it was back in the ’00s, but we’re dedicated to changing that. Here are some 2014 song lyrics that we would totally use as our away messages. We christen this list, the return of AIM.

The “not-so-rhetorical question” away message:

The splendidly random away message:

The good advice away message:

The witty away message:

The weekday away message:

The threatening away message:

The “this might be what I’m actually doing” away message:

The “active inquiry” away message:

The please-notice-me-crush away message:

The “damn right I like the life I live” away message:

Which would you add to the list?

[Images made by author]

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