R.I.P AIM : A Eulogy for my early days of Social Media
AOL Instant Messenger, is essentially a zombie service now. This represents the end of an era kin social media, when AIM dominated internet conversations unless you were one of those weird people who used MSN and probably still has a hotmail account and a gateway computer.
Let’s take time to remember what was so special about our dearlky departed internet instant messenger service.
AIM thrived in the period of time between everyone getting a computer, but before everyone got a cell phone.n The novelty of an “instant messenger service” can be sen in its name. In 2012, we have instant messaging on so many different platforms that we only acknowledge the speed of said messages if they will be slower than an instant.
Oh, you’re going to send me an email? - snotty retort from a tween in 2012.
AIM also existed between the pseudo-anonymous world of the 90’s internet and the social media explosion of the 2000’s. During the turn of the century, my peers and I used it extensively for private conversations, like “who was dating who?”, “Do you want to play counter-strike?”, and “Isn’t this budget surplus great?” But even with the private conversations, our AIM accounts were open to messages from strangers. Local news networks noticed this, and began beta testing their “social media local news scare piece format” that would later be reheated for Myspace/LiveJournal/Xanga/Facebook/Twitter/Cell phones.
Before Siri, everybody’s favorite replacement for genuine human conversation was SmarterChild. In many ways, he set the groundwork of having a bot stocked with witty responses to the typical questions one asks to an anthropomorphised program.
AIM was my generation’s first major entry into the soon-to-be ever connected world we now live in. Instant messaging through AOL is unnecessary in a world with unlimited texting cell phone plans and Facebook/Gchat/Skype. Even though it is gone, its legacy is not forgotten. “Blocking” someone turned into “Defriending”, “away messages” into status updates/tweets, complaining about the new AIM into complaining about the new ______.
At the end of the day, AIM will be a fond relic of our tween years, when guys had screennames with Dragon Ball Z characters in the name, and girls had a screenname that was some permutation of “XoSh0rtyS3xiHunni387977”.
The good ole days.
Feel free to comment with your AIM memories.