Before the dawn of hashtags and "like" buttons and pizza emoji texts, there was but one way to get in touch with your tech-savvy BFFs, and that was old school AOL Instant Messaging. Gone but nowhere near forgotten, Elite Daily's Gen whY explains why AIM was the best social media ever (at least in its former early millennium glory). They reminisce about that happy little blooping noise you got with a chat, the visceral thrill of setting an away message, and the metaphorical slap to the face that was the door slamming noise of someone logging off. If I close my eyes, I can almost pretend I am 12 again, desperately Googling the lyrics to Evanescence songs to see which one is edgy enough to post but not so edgy that my mom would kick my preteen ass off the computer if she saw it.
Of course, it's been so long since those days that I can barely remember them. If I had put half as much effort into my schoolwork as I did choosing away message colors, I probably could have built an entire empire of floofy teddy bear socks by now (I had DREAMS as a kid — alas, all gone to waste). But regardless of how we spent the last AIM-less decade or so of our lives, let's take a walk down memory lane, remembering why AIM was the most baller thing that happened to us:
Our SNs Were 2 Kewl 4 School
I was dolphinrider9. Because I liked dolphins.
... And I was nine.
It Was Basically Parent Proof
"There was no profile," the dude in the video explains, which is the truthiest truth. These days if I post something on social media, my mom has some kind of Facebook sonar installed and sees it probably before I even hit the post button. To make it even more impressive, the woman doesn't even have a Facebook. But back in 2001, she would have been hard-pressed to find anything other than me very slowly and deliberately typing "ROFLCOPTERS" at my super hip sixth grade friendz.
It Was Weirdly More Intimate Than Any Other Kind Of Social Media We Have Now
"Now everyone is always online," they added in the video. With the exception of going underground during our commutes and such (AM I EVEN REAL WHEN I AM NOT CONNECTED TO WIFI?!), we are so connected that we are one technological breakthrough away from becoming a dystopian YA novel.
Here's the full video below, if you think you can handle the EXTREME NOSTALGIA you are about to feel: