The glorious old days of AIM screen names are, unfortunately, behind us, but the days of mocking our former selves most certainly are not. I, personally, went through four different screen names, all with varying levels of weirdness, and twisted versions of my name, date of birth, etc. I never got into the seasonal screen names, but I have all the respect in the world for HalloweenKween0957 because he or she was clearly a forward thinker. She was essentially "YAS KWEEN" before "YAS KWEEN" really happened. But beyond the quintessential '90s screen names, a major part of the AIM experience was the one and only profile, that was essentially the Facebook of our early middle school years. (Or maybe it was closer to the MySpace.)
Anyway, what your profile said was just as important as your screen. It showed who your friends are, what you were into, whether you were dating someone, and so much more. If nothing else, it showed what Plain White T's or All-American Rejects anthem made your world go 'round. I desperately want to see what would happen if we all had to make AIM-esque profiles for our twentysomething Gchat necessities. It'd be just like old times, except we'd all have the capability to embed video. And on that note, here are 10 things the perfect AIM profile had:
1. A Heartfelt Quote
Retro song lyrics. A quote from first season of The OC. Or maybe even "Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game" from A Cinderella Story.
2. A Sports Team Preference
"xOxO Red Sox Nation, we still LuV u" — My profile, circa 2002, before the Red Sox won the World Series.
3. A Heart Next To Someone's Name, Even If It Was A Made Up Name
It was the perfect digital alternative to a Claddagh ring, and it let the AIM world know if you were single or taken.
4. Different Fonts
It wasn't a true AIM profile if you were just using Helvetica. No, no. You needed some Comic Sans up in your profile to distinguish yourself as a true cool kid.
5. Multi-Colored Lettering Going uP aNd DoWn LikE tHiS WitH sOmE oF ThESe tHiNgS Star Things **~~**
If you didn't have fancy lettering**~~ and a few different colors, and possibly letters going at a diagonal that took you a chill three hours to make happen, then you were doing it wrong.
6. A Rant Proving That You Are Wise Beyond Your Years
If you were an opinionated 14-year-old, you need to make sure you were showing that in your profile. It was the pre-Tumblr, where you ranted, and wrote a few strongly worded, bolded, tiny-fonted dense paragraphs. Spoiler alert: only, like, three people read your AIM profile rant.
7. Important Mentions Of Food
Remember the Thanksgiving where I wrote our menu out in my profile? Me too. Don't judge me, we were having tiramisu that year, and I needed people to know.
8. A Television Show Allegiance
It was the perfect place to tell everyone that you were SUCH a Rory.
9. A Shout Out To Your Girls
The perfect, classically passive aggressive BFF move was to put all the names of ~~yOuR girls~~ in your profile. Or you'd put a funny thing one of them said and write "OMG LOL COLLEEN, love ya." Either way, you were marking your girl pack.
10. A Unique, Pre-Emoji Smiley Face Lineup
If you didn't have 18 smileys sticking their tongue out in a row, separating each part of your profile from the next part, what were you even doing in the early 2000s?
Images: Disney, Giphy (10)