AOL finally shut down its instant messaging service yesterday (December 15), and though it is gone, the late-night chats (so no one would need to use the phone at the same time), hot-pink Green Day lyrics carefully chosen because Anna said it’s Josh’s favorite song, and angsty away messages will live on forever.
While most of us have not used the messaging service for many years, the announcement that it was coming to a close was met with widespread horror. ’90s kids began to reminisce on the early days of the Internet in tandem, remembering their shared parental outrage (ugh pArEnTs r ThE WORST), lengthy conversations with bots, setting your status to “away” to make Josh think you were busy, and embarrassing screen names.
Everyone seemed to have the same cathartic idea to spill their first — or at least, most shame-worthy — screen name. People confessed to names inspired by Danity Kane, beanie babies, and their pets.
showstoppa06 I believe. It was coined after that song "Show Stopper" by Danity Kane
— raider of the lost snark™ (@snarkraider) December 15, 2017
Bittersweetguy14. I was obsessed with Bittersweet Symphony
— Wade Evans 🦖 (@wadeevans26) December 14, 2017
Everyone had an embarrassing AIM screen name and NHL players are no exception. 😆 pic.twitter.com/tBHI4hcVvN
— NHL (@NHL) December 15, 2017
She whispered her AIM Screen Name into the gently snowing sky, setting it free among the stars: ILoveBella.
For she did, indeed, love her dog named Bella.
— Julia P. McCarthy (@thejumbles) December 16, 2017
Ok my first AIM screen name was "nylety" because I liked TY Beanie Babies at the time.
I was 8. Please respect.
— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) October 7, 2017