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.