A Valley News Publication

AOL Instant Messenger, lovingly known as AIM, was officially put to an end on Friday, marking a sad day in many a millennial’s life.

AIM was our introduction to ~the internet~, the place where we chatted with friends for hours and began to form online identities for ourselves. It was our first real taste of what would later be known as social media, which of course is now inescapable in our daily lives. It’s also the reason we’re either A. really great at acronyms and reading shorthand or B. not so good at spelling and/or texting.

Your screen name said a lot about you, too. How did you want to portray yourself to your buddy list? It was hard to create an original screen name that really captured the essence of ~you~. (I believe my very first screen name — I went on to create another shortly after, which I switched to and continued to use for years — was penguinchick4256, which I thought was great because I love penguins; I’m a girl, hence the chick — so cheeky lol!; and obvs penguinchick was taken so I had to add some numbers. The combo worked for me.)

I don’t really have anything bad to say about AIM. It was fun, it was cool (at the time), it had neat little effects whenever people signed on and off (the doors opened and shut!) and it let you customize your fonts and colors. Who could forget the excruciating care that went into crafting the perfect away message or, even more important, a profile?!

And, for better or worse, it led us to where we are today.

Goodbye, AIM. We’re sad to see you’ve g2g.