What Was AOL Instant Messenger Used For? It Was Basically The First Dating App Ever & People On Twitter Are Sharing Their Love Stories
AOL Instant Messenger is dead and I don't know how to handle it. Well, it will be dead as of December 15th, according to a recent announcement. AIM was a defining part of my teenager years— and the teenage years of most of my friends. We talked all day at school, then set up times to log onto AIM in the evening. It helped ease the lonely transition from high school to college. It kept me in contact with friends around the world. But, more than any of that, it was basically the first dating app. Teenage romances lived and died on AIM. And so it's no surprise that people are taking to Twitter to share their AIM-based love stories. OK, maybe love stories is a little strong. Really people are sharing their excruciating crush stories, which seem fare more appropriate for AIM.
Because that's what it was really about— your crush. Sure, I had huge fights with my first boyfriend over AIM after he went to college, but that's not what stands out in my memory. It's the painstakingly chosen bio quotes meant to signal something to the person you liked, it's the cheesy lyrics in an away message that you hoped would goad them into messaging you. How you danced with joy when you crush logged on and felt completely devastated when they left again before you had a chance to speak with them. And, if you were anything like me, you sent way too many messages 'by accident' in order to start up a conversation. It all felt so important. So let's take a moment of silence for all that AIM gave us.
Phew. Alright, now just to prove that I'm not alone in my pathetic attempts to get people's attention, it's time to see how many other people did the same. Because if #RIPAIM is anything to go by, my experience was all too common. AIM was one of the best ways to establish contact with your crush— and, for that, it was really is the mother of all dating apps. Just with way more song lyrics. Take a look at these memories.
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1This Important Use Of Quotes
Hey, #AIM, it’s me, bloodx4769. Remember that time we met a girl over from another state and I had my first “relationship”? That was fun.— Chris Kooki-noose 👻 (@christheFER) October 7, 2017
So many of my first relationships were really way more like "relationships". And AIM was a huge part of all of them.
2This Brief Courtship
AIM was the safest way to ask someone out. Fact.
3This Full Circle Relationship
It is the beginning— and the end— of all of us, really.
4This Lasting Romance
AIM was the best for flirting because you couldn't always "LOL JKJKJK" your way out of any awkward situation. Or at least you could try.
5This Conversation We All Had
I mean, that literally could have been any of my attempts at flirting.
6This Burn That's Still Stinging
Raise your hand if you asked a girl out in 7th grade on AIM and she denied you 🙋🏼♂️#ripAIM— Matt Croteau (@CrotesMcGotes34) October 6, 2017
We've all been there. Alllllll been there.
7Crafting The Perfect Away Message
"This will get my crush's attention... definitely. Definitely."
AIM is dying. I'm going to put a cryptic message about my crush in my away message just for old time's sake. #RIPAIM— Myke (@MikeWehner) October 6, 2017
My personal favorite was: ICFTFA. Secret code for: I can't fight this feeling any more. I had a lot of feelings. I didn't really try to fight them.
9THE HIGHS AND LOWS
I’ve never had a feeling quite like the one I got any time that AIM door opened and my crush had signed on. Butterflies x infinity. #RipAIM— Will Reeve (@ReeveWill) October 6, 2017
Seriously, it was panic stations in the best possible way. I had ALL OF THE FEELINGS.
10The Old Bait And Switch
AIM: where I aggressively flirted with every girl in my middle school at night, then awkwardly avoided eye contact the next day #RIPAIM— Xander Schultz 🤼♂️ (@Xanderschultz) October 6, 2017
Same, Xander. Same.
11"Sorry Wrong Person"
"Hey"— sade baderinwa (@sadeismyqueen) October 6, 2017
"Sorry wrong person"
"Lol yeah.....but whatsupp"#RIPAIM
It was never the wrong person. It was never, ever the wrong person. It was all part of the plan.
12This Cry For Help
~*~*~— #DCSports Playoffs (@DannyPage) October 6, 2017
Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shootin' stars
I could really use a wish right now ~*~*~ #RIPAIM
PLEASE NOTICE THIS AND MESSAGE ME PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!
13This Crushing Pain
Do y'all remember when your crush went offline and you heard that door slam and it felt like it was crushing your heart? #AIMemories— Jackie 🍚🥑 (@GeekyFriedRice) October 6, 2017
I do remember. Oh god, I do. You knew you missed your chance and you just couldn't forgive yourself.
14Your Got "Hacked"
Shooting your shot with your crush and then saying your friend hacked your account when it didn't go well. #AIMemories— Ben Rajadurai (@brajadurai) October 6, 2017
... I got "hacked" a lot. Like, a lot.
15This Parent's Nightmare
I met my first girlfriend on AIM. She turned out to be a 54-year-old man in Laos but still. #AIMemories— R.D. Evans (@Oh_Robert_Evans) October 6, 2017
The original cat-fishing opportunity.
AIM was a huge part of my romantic development— stumbling through flirting attempts, having relationships spats, and riding a rollercoaster of emotion. Maybe I haven't used it in close to a decade, but I still can't believe it's gone. RIP, AIM— and thanks for the memories. The cringe-y, cringe-y memories.