Aol adults chatting

Away messages ended up functioning as a sort of proto-Twitter — a way to broadcast our moods and interests at a whim.

While my school was home to an early social network, Planworld, AIM captured the pulse of campus conversation in real time.

And aside from the away message, there just isn't really a better example of something that neatly and concisely depicts the often mortifying process of navigating through your teens.

Maybe the senior yearbook quote, which was away message-level bad in my case.

People moved on, and so did I., my first anime obsessions.

I also went through several different screennames during the '90s, as my family hopped between free trials on America Online, Prodigy and countless other early internet services.

But around 2010 AIM's popularity started to decline. Now the OG of instant messaging apps is being put out to pasture. But first the Engadget staff wanted to give it a proper send off.

The news of AIM's demise initially brought on a moment of nostalgia and a twinge of sadness.

I had a now-embarrassing Sega-inspired name -- Alpha Tails -- and a profile box to fill with ~*feelings*~, song lyrics, janky HTML and links to my Live Journal and Photobucket. My Space came around, but that was an asynchronous bulletin to posture and fiddle with my first passive online presence.

When my family graduated from AOL dial-up to DSL and got our own (Verizon!

) emails around 2000, I was overjoyed to learn that AIM was a standalone client.

I was there with a group of Singaporean classmates, but I was eager to embrace American culture and joined the student radio station to branch out.

There, I made lots of good friends, at least two of whom I now consider lifelong buddies. )AIM was instrumental in fostering many of my friendships then.

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