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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1. This Important Use Of Quotes
So many of my first relationships were really way more like "relationships". And AIM was a huge part of all of them.
2. This Brief Courtship
AIM was the safest way to ask someone out. Fact.
3. This Full Circle Relationship
It is the beginning— and the end— of all of us, really.
4. This 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.
5. This Conversation We All Had
I mean, that literally could have been any of my attempts at flirting.
6. This Burn That's Still Stinging
We've all been there. Alllllll been there.
7. Crafting The Perfect Away Message
"This will get my crush's attention... definitely. Definitely."
8. So Cryptic
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.
9. THE HIGHS AND LOWS
Seriously, it was panic stations in the best possible way. I had ALL OF THE FEELINGS.
10. The Old Bait And Switch
Same, Xander. Same.
11. "Sorry Wrong Person"
It was never the wrong person. It was never, ever the wrong person. It was all part of the plan.
12. This Cry For Help
PLEASE NOTICE THIS AND MESSAGE ME PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!
13. This Crushing Pain
I do remember. Oh god, I do. You knew you missed your chance and you just couldn't forgive yourself.
14. Your Got "Hacked"
... I got "hacked" a lot. Like, a lot.
15. This Parent's Nightmare
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.