13 Types Of Away Messages Older Millennials Will Remember But Younger Millennials Won't

Warner Bros. Television

While all millennials grew up together on the internet, older millennials likely grew up on America Online, which was very different than the internet the younger millennials grew up with. One of the features of America Online was AIM (AOL Instant Messenter), an internet application that allowed you to create a screen name, chat with your friends, create a profile and use an answering service — aka, an away message — to catch messages when they were away from the computer. Aside from passing notes in school, AIM was the only place where we could all directly and privately correspond with our peers when we weren't together, as well as express ourselves with sometimes dramatic away messages. Yes, life without cell phones was a totally different way of living.

Because AIM became popular during a time that cell phones were just barely on the market, AIM was was, for many of the older millennials, the only place to connect with friends. Because we couldn't text or take up the house phone line for hours and hours, AIM was the only place where we could talk to our friends uninterrupted, privately, and without making a sound. Having an away message allowed our computers to collect messages throughout the day and night, giving us something to look forward to when we couldn't actually be online to see them. To help the younger millennials see what internet life was like for us older millennials, I've put together a list of some one my all time favorite away messages that the younger millennials missed out on.

g2g ttyl 143

Younger millennials might think they're the masters of abbreviations, but older millennials in fact, started it. Translation: Got to go, talk to you later, I love you.

OuT wiTH thE CrEw, CeLL's HoT

Having a cell phone was something to brag about, just as much as having a crew to hang with was. Early on, there was no way for AIM messages to forward to our phones, so if we weren't online, that likely meant we were out of the house and the only way to reach us was by calling our cell phones.


On Saturday nights, Nickelodeon turned into Snick, which was like a teen version of SNL featuring the likes of The Amanda Show and Kennan & Kel. Translation: rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.

"Moisture is the essence of wetness, wetness is the essence of beauty." — Zoolander

Zoolander was like our comedy anthem. Any quote from the movie would be a real hit as an away message. It was just so perfectly ridiculous for us. What is this? A center for ANTS?!

VoTe 4 PeDro!

Back before Napoleon Dynamite was a cult classic, it was just a weird little movie that we liked to quote — especially in our away messages. It was so obscure, it was like an inside joke with other fans of the movie.

giRLs NiGHt <3 ily KW BB CS LR!

Shouting out your friends and dedicating your away message to them was like the most BFF thing you could do. We liked to brag about who we were hanging out with, but on the flip side, if a friend shouted out some girls and your name wasn't listed, it felt like a punch in the gut.

"I walk a lonely road / The only one that I have ever known / Don't know where it goes /But it's only me, and I walk alone" Don't talk 2 me, not in the mood.

When we were feeling really angsty, we'd quote Green Day. We'd make away messages that said we wanted to be left alone, but really we wanted tons of attention, a la "leave me alone, leave a message."

"$HaKe iT LiKe A PoLaRoiD picHa!"

Outkast's song "Hey Ya" was an anthemic party song for the older millennials. Literally any birthday party you went to had this song bumpin' on the boom box. If you posted it on your away message it likely meant you were out having a great time or in a great mood.


Oh, Paris Hilton, you gave us our greatest phrases. "That's hot" didn't mean much, but it did mean you were in a Paris state of mind, which was pretty fabulous. It was basically turning on princess mode.

this sh*t is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s!

Lyric gem: courtesy of Gwen Stefani. It was totally perfect for frustrating moments, unbelievable moments and outrageous moments, and one of my personal most used away messages.

new livejournal post up, if ya don't know now ya know

Us moody teens liked to share our feelings with select groups on the internet via Livejournal. We were incredibly open and honest in our posts because not everyone knew where to find them. We'd let people know when we posted, but only the people who knew our Livejournal aliases would be able to find the posts.

school. practice. dentist. home. leave a message.

Because people couldn't always get in touch with us, we'd often leave our schedules on our away messages so our friends knew where to find us and when we'd be home.

brb showaaaaa

We spent so much time talking on Instant Messenger that it was necessary to pause conversations with an away message even when we were stepping away from the computer for only 10 minutes to take a shower. AIM was life.