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18 Things We All Did On AIM As Kids That Made Us Pretty Fun Adults

BRB — time traveling back to the '90s.

Before social media began melting our brains, AIM was the tried-and-true way to communicate with friends and classmates after school.

Kid sitting at a computer with a colorful jacket and glasses
Raphael Gaillarde / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Whether you logged on to AOL or spent hours on MSN, instant messaging was THE thing to do on the worldwide web...unless, of course, you were linking with friends on a Club Penguin server.

Apple / Via giphy.com

Here are some things you might remember from the glory days of AIM:

1. Having to endure a long lecture about internet safety from your less-than-tech-savvy parents before creating an account.

John Waters saying, "Nothing disappears from the internet"
Wolf Entertainment / Via giphy.com

Do kids still get this lecture today? 

2. And then begging your parents to hop off the phone so you could access the internet.

AOL / Via giphy.com

3. Discovering new artists and checking out the pet of the day on the AOL homepage.

4. Coming up with a super-cool screen name that wasn't already taken felt like an impossible task.

Comedy Central / Via giphy.com

If only we had known back then how many screen names we would need to create in our lifetimes...

5. Busting out the school directory, calling all your classmates, and exchanging screen names to build your exclusive buddies list.

AIM from nostalgia

6. Choosing the perfect buddy icon for each friend was a top priority.

Graphic design clearly peaked during this era.

7. But only your besties got assigned the glittery Dollz icons.

8. Hearing the creak of a door and rushing to your friends list to see if your crush logged on.

Comedy Central / Via giphy.com

9. And quickly logging off after messaging your crush that you like them.

Giphy / Via giphy.com

GTG! TTYL!

10. The emoji selection was incredible, and you definitely used these smilies as much as humanly possible in conversation.

11. Messaging someone "Wut's up?" and getting that sweet, sweet "Not much, u?" reply.

Fox Searchlight Pictures / Via giphy.com

12. Or spending hours messing with chatbots like notable internet smart aleck SmarterChild.

Parents could never understand the bonds we formed with these artificially intelligent bots.

13. Entering chatrooms you had no business being in at a young age.

What did I, a child, have to contribute to a tattoos and piercings chatroom? The world may never know.

14. Proceeding to be asked, "ASL?" by strangers on the internet.

A man with a mustache sitting in front of a computer with "A/S/L" written on the screen
Giphy / Via giphy.com

15. Then having to look up what ASL means, only to discover the romantic connotations of someone asking about your age, sex, and location.

A website called "AIM Away Messages" with an index of AIM lingo, including ASL: "Age / Sex / location?"
AIM Away Messages / Via aimlingo.aimawaymessages.com

16. Frantically typing "POS," aka "parent over shoulder," when your parent entered the room in order to hide the positively scandalous messages you were receiving.

Prguitarman / Via giphy.com

17. Setting a detailed "away" message so your friends would know what you were up to when you were offline.

Nicky Rojo / Via giphy.com

The cool kids used nearly illegible fonts, and the extra-cool kids hid secret messages in white font so you could see it only when it was highlighted. 

18. And finally, making sure you chose the most dramatic song lyrics so people would think you were ~mysterious~ and *edgy.*

I'm still searching for a song that cuts deeper than Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You."

Let us know your favorite AIM memories in the comments section below!

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