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They might have a succinct description of our emotional state. That’s right: AIM was so fertile and life-giving that But status messages were just the golden filigree of the gorgeous AIM tapestry. I really mean that: As 9/11-jittered American parents were restricting access to the places where we could meet in public—the sociologist danah boyd writes about this in her book, —we had to turn to AIM. We made our first attempts, on AIM, of transfiguring our mysterious and unpredictable thoughts into lively and personable textual performances. We invented our online selves—we invented ourselves. Myspace and Xanga helped us set up temporary and ramshackle museums of our tastes.

Often they consisted of the quotation of vitally important song lyrics: from The Postal Service, from Dashboard Confessional, from blink-182, from Green Day, from The Beatles (only after And then there were, sometimes concurrently with the song lyrics, the pained, cryptic, and egocentric recountings of the emotional trials of the day. Then Facebook came along, with all the of “only college students use it,” and we drifted there.

As important as clothing or the buttons on a backpack, picking just the right song lyrics or inspirational quotes were among the most visible self-installed billboards of personal identity. and cable connections, AIM asserted itself as the dominant service of the time.

It was a place to pay tribute to the senior class or to friends — who were, without fail, the best friends in the whole world. Moss’s parody account, which assumed the character of a teenage girl whose parents were sometimes just THE WORST. Despite the nostalgia on Friday, AIM had gone largely unused for years.

Honestly, that river has been a little scary lately.

Never did she managed to get him to think about his actions, thus cementing the theory that Chris is egotistical and always thinks he's right.

You walk around in habitats of text, pop-up cathedrals of social language whose cornerstone is the rectangle in your pocket. (Since we didn’t have smartphones back then, its desktop-delimited-ness was self-explanatory.) You could set lengthy status messages with animated icons in them. AIM was the club (see, Hobbes, Calvin and) and da club (see Cent, Fifty). We didn’t ask for someone’s number, at least not then—an errant month of texting in 2005 could still cost , an exorbitant figure to the teenage mind—so we asked for their AIM. (We usually had to tread carefully around the ask.) And over a couple months, we assembled buddy lists of our friends and teammates and crushes and classmates.

It was like Gchat or i Message, but you could only do it from a desktop computer. AIM was the side of the library where everyone smoked.

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AOL Instant Messenger, the chat program that connected a generation to their classmates and crushes while guiding them through the early days of digital socializing, will shut down on Dec.

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