AOL Instant Messenger: A eulogy

I haven’t used AOL Instant Messenger in years, but that doesn’t mean that the announcement that it’s being discontinued in December hasn’t got me feeling like someone close to me just died.

See, if you’re a Millennial, then AIM was life to you at a certain point. You have a lot of memories, especially the ones that you’d die to forget, all centered around that little yellow man attached to a dial-up connection. I know I do: I remember how excited I was to write “*David :-*” in my bio when I got the first boyfriend I was really, like, into in the eighth grade, and how devastated I was when he used the same app to break up with me a few months later. (Don’t worry, things got easier when I later learned on another messaging app that he’s gay, and now we’re great friends. Hi, buddy!)

Oh, and then there was that time when everyone posted on their Away Messages that they were at Jessica’s house, and that’s how I realized that I hadn’t been invited. I’ll never forget when I found out that Kaitlyn was the one who convinced Jessica not to invite me, and how I took the low road by throwing my own little party at home and inviting everyone but her — and then convincing all my guests to add little inside jokes from our night in their bios so she would know that This. Was. War.