Looks like AOL Instant Messanger will be closing forever on December 15th.
AIM was a huge part of my teen years and I still kind of miss it. Texting and Skype are pretty cool, but AIM was great for being passively social.
I spent a lot of late nights chatting with various crushes on AIM. I spent a lot of weekend days reading a book close enough to the computer so that I would hear it if I was messaged or if somebody were to sign on. It was pretty sweet having my buddy list chilling in the upper left hand side of the screen while doing homework.
Texting is different. Everyone always has their phones. You never know if people are actually in the mood to talk (signing on AIM was a signal.) Skype is alright but it’s more intrusive than AIM was, plus people hook it up to their phones so that they’re on all the time just like texting.
I was using AIM up through maybe 2008. I had Adium as a client, which I still think was very snazzy. It looked great.
~GoOdByE aIM yOu WeRe AwEsOmE~
There’s a small slice of people who are positioned to be extremely nostalgic about AIM: people who were teenagers after computers were common, but before everybody had a smartphone. I think this cohort bridges the eldest Millennials with the youngest members of Generation X.
For those who are not part of the AIM generation, you can take this quiz to see what might have been: