Once upon a time, there was a bunch of nerds who came up with this glorious and blushy service called America Online. On the instant messaging service, people could chat with their friends, chat with family, and hit up a predator? Oh, did I forget to mention that AIM chat rooms were the most dangerous for kids and teens? And did I forget to mention that Chris Hansen did dateline specials on catching predators on the AOL and Yahoo chat sites? Yes, I didn’t forget that.
But let me tell you my story of AIM, my story of total drama and intrigue that is AOL instant messenger.
I first started using the messaging software when I moved to Tallahassee, Florida in 2008. I had several AIM screen names, but then I moved on to chatting in no time. The software worked with my adaptive screen reading software, worked like a charm. I chatted with my cousin, set identifiers for my buddies, and had a fun time chatting with people I knew. But there were people who hated me who chatted with me on AOL for a short time, and AOL had no clue what went on. WHen Facebook and Facebook messenger came along, AIM lost its charm. I began using the AOL messenger to chat on Facebook, but then Facebook was pulled from it. Therefore, I decided to stop using the software because of what was the dramatic moment for a while. I was told later on to not contact certain entities whose names I will not reveal here on AOL. I have completely left AOL, even though I do have an email address there, but the millennium started with a bang thanks to this drama-filled messenger. Now, it’s Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. AIM, to be honest, I will not miss you. I will not miss the times I was told to either allow someone to flirt with me on AIM or rot in Hell. I will not miss the screenname kf4yfa messaging me for the last time telling me that I was a slut or that I wouldn’t be hearing from that entity. I will not miss anything about AIM and the people who perceived me as evil or slutty at all. Most of all, AIM, I will not miss all the predators who flocked to teenagers’ chatrooms trying to get some. I hope the predators rot where they should but the use of AOL’s messenger software to enable such scrupulous adults will not surely be missed. AOL, if only you hadn’t merged with Time Warner and tried so hard to charge us for Internet service in the new millennium. We will miss the time stamps, the instant chat logs, though not slimy ones, and the AOL phone calls that range from funny ones to sad ones to happy ones. Goodbye, AOL instant messenger.
FYI: No memorial or funeral services will be done in AOL instant messenger’s name, but we will hit the nail in the tech coffin and write the following epitaph on the gravestone of a chat service that once ruled the beginning of a new era of computing softwares: “AOL Instant messenger: 1999-2017, from the strangers to a strange land, you will be never forgotten, but soon hard to remember.”