Proving that 2017 truly has no mercy on the good, Google is discontinuing Gchat, effective this June. While Google Hangouts will remain in tack, its predecessor, the medium that eased you out of AIM and into adulthood, will cease to exist after 12 long years of sustaining workplace gossip, creating mild existential crises every time it accidentally went offline, and prompting not-so-covert "I KNOW, RIGHT???" glances between coworkers in crowded open air offices.
How exactly will this affect you, you may be wondering? Well — not much. Google Hangouts essentially serves the exact same function as Gchat, and Gchats will automatically revert into Hangouts after Google lets it draw its last gasping technological breath. The only thing really changing is that the Gchat interface won't exist anymore, and it looks super similar to Google Hangouts. To be quite honest, Gchat will die and not very much of this world will take notice; by summer, it will be but a whisper on the wind, a stirring in the leaves, and a faint memory when you created an unfortunate Good Charlotte-themed Gmail address in 2005, confident that it would stand the test of time. (But what is life, if not The Anthem? Whoa-oh.)
So yes, this news isn't exactly news in any sense of it affecting you personally, or literally anyone anywhere. And in the wake of its departure, Google will continue to support communication on Allo, Duo, and Android messaging, as well as Google Hangouts. Life will go on. Babies will be born. New Gmail accounts will be made.
Still, a little piece of our childhood dies with Gchat; a time before hashtags, before Kim K's butt breaking the internet, before all the teens started intimidating us by being 800 percent cooler than we are on Instagram. It is with a heavy heart today that I prepare to bid it adieu.
So pour one out for Gchat, the only receptacle that every truly understood you — the medium that you stalked your high school crush on, that never judged as you gossiped about the open pregnancy test box someone found on top of the office trash bin, that supported you emotionally as you waited on the edge of every "..." as your boss took a very long time to type after chatting you the word "Hey".
You did good, Gchat. You did good.