Tuesday, November 20, 2018
News Roundup

AOL Instant Messenger is no more, and it’s okay your inner 13-year-old is crying

Saying goodbye to an old friend stings.

On the morning of Dec. 15, 2017, AOL Instant Messenger died.

Take a moment to allow the 13-year-old inside of you let out a deep sob; think about the bulletin you wish you could post to your MySpace page about how unfair it is that the messaging platform of your youth is no more.

Don’t hold back. I want to feel the ~*AnGsT*~.

Because you’re an adult now, the world is cruel, and wait — I have to ask — who was still on AIM, anyway?

AOL posted to its website five days ago they would be ending the once popular instant-messaging service this Friday. News first broke that AIM would see its last months in October of this year.

Read more: AIM announces it will end services

"We know there are so many loyal fans who have used AIM for decades; and we loved working and building the first chat app of its kind since 1997," the company wrote.

But as happens with most technologies, AOL said it was time to move on and, for anyone who had yet to sever the ties, to finally say goodbye.

For the record: I know non-millennials used AIM, too. You probably used it at work, maybe you ventured into a chatroom out of curiosity. But for most people who are now in their 20s and early 30s, AIM was a way of life. Like get-home-from-school-slam-your-backpack-down-and-run-straight-for-the-computer life.

There was a standard setup on your Windows 95 desktop: AIM minimized while you custom-coded your MySpace page layout and listened to music playing on LimeWire.

The screen names were embarrassing, your away messages were dramatic, and your "about me" section included the lyrics to "Wonderwall" in a customized font color.

It seems so simple now. Pure, even. It was cool to change up your screen names: I recall RockSock182 being my first, before I graduated to the much more sophisticated when_y0u_smilex. (Both paid homage to my fav band, Blink-182.)

I made custom Buddy Icons in Microsoft Paint. (That’s probably the most early 2000-era sentence I’ve ever penned.) I learned what "LOL" meant and how to ROFL. I briefly stopped spelling words correctly, typing baby as "BaBii" and replacing "O" with zero and "S" with "z." ii felt rly c00l.

Honestly, I didn’t realize that AIM hadn’t already shut down for good years ago. I imagine most of us had naturally moved onto Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, SnapChat, iMessage ... there’s not exactly a shortage of options.

"AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed," said Michael Albers, the vice president of communications product at Oath, the parent company of AOL, in a statement on Friday.

Ain’t that the truth.

I used to text my friends to get on AIM as soon as they could. I had something really important to tell them, but I wasn’t allowed to send more than a few texts a month. It was too expensive.

Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale.

Comments
LB/FB Lorenzo Valencia runs the show for Admiral Farragut

LB/FB Lorenzo Valencia runs the show for Admiral Farragut

Nothing gets by the senior on defense, and he's got an eagle eye on the offense as well.
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Six holiday movies to see at Tampa Theatre this Christmas season

Six holiday movies to see at Tampa Theatre this Christmas season

Tampa Theatre has released the lineup for its annual Holiday Classics series, including “Elf,” “A Christmas Story” and “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-49ers is a matchup of turnover-margin futility

Bucs-49ers is a matchup of turnover-margin futility

It might be fitting that the game between the NFL's two most giving teams will be played on Thanksgiving weekend.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Skip the wine-pairing precision: On Thanksgiving, pretty much anything goes

Skip the wine-pairing precision: On Thanksgiving, pretty much anything goes

I knew wine was special long before I ever had my first sip of it.The stuff had to be special because when I was a kid, it was always served in a carafe — never in its own bottle — and on Thanksgiving, a carafe or two stood among rarely...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is Dirk Koetter’s future in Jameis Winston’s hands?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is Dirk Koetter’s future in Jameis Winston’s hands?

The Bucs are trying to find a guy who won't turn the ball over and lead it to victories.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Armwood’s ‘rebuilding’defense doesn’t miss a step

Armwood’s ‘rebuilding’defense doesn’t miss a step

SEFFNER — Armwood High started the football offseason with an overwhelming sense of loss. By February, the Hawks' bid adieu to eight defensive starters who signed with college programs, including lineman Malcolm Lamar (Florida State), safety Ma...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Johns Pass custard shop manager accused of lewd contact with teen employees

Johns Pass custard shop manager accused of lewd contact with teen employees

The 62-year-old manager of a custard shop on Johns Pass was arrested Monday after Pinellas County deputies say he inappropriately touched four teenage employees ages 14, 15 and 17.
Updated: 2 hours ago
TV’s ‘Billion-Dollar Man’ started by opening up a can of sales success

TV’s ‘Billion-Dollar Man’ started by opening up a can of sales success

Bob Circosta grew into an HSN pioneer because of a ‘crazy’ request to sell a simple appliance.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Watch: Martha Stewart's first Uber ride was 'a mess inside and out'

Watch: Martha Stewart's first Uber ride was 'a mess inside and out'

Martha Stewart took to Instagram to document her miserable ride, including a picture that showed debris on the floor and two water bottles.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Forecast: Morning clouds break for warm, sunny Tuesday in Tampa Bay

Forecast: Morning clouds break for warm, sunny Tuesday in Tampa Bay

Cloudy skies and patchy fog during the morning hours will break for a warm and sunny Tuesday, forecasters with the National Weather Service say.
Updated: 3 hours ago