Remember the days when ‘handles’ were ‘screen-names,’ AOL was cutting-edge technology and all the cool kids were group-chatting on AIM without you? Us too… :(

Not having an AIM would be like… social suicide. How could you stay up to date on schoolyard gossip without late-night chats or proclaim your individuality without what you thought was the ‘coolest screen-name ever’?

With the explosion of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and with the innovations of smartphones and texting, AIM has suffered a slow death – slowly giving way to more visual-based and portable means of communication. AIM was virtually dead by 2012. R-I-P AIM…

And while we’d like to forget the impossibly long dialup waits, our too-cool away-messages (e.g. “brb! better thingz to do!”) and humiliating screennames, 20to30 wants to remind you of where we would be without AIM.

Consider our AIM accounts to be like social media training wheels. America first tested instant messaging on AIM users, allowing for the technology to be perfected through Facebook Chat and texting.

We first learned the ins and outs of social media on AIM, learned to communicate in brief sentences and, perhaps most significantly, developed the delicate art of LOLing, which would go on to inspire ROFL and LMFAO, which of course, in turn, inspired that terrible “I’m In Miami, Trick” song. Well, maybe we’re less grateful for that…

In our salute to AIM, the 20to30 team leaves you with our old AIM screen-names. Maybe they weren’t quite as ‘c00l’ as we thought they were… Please, try not to LOL at us…


#tbt 1999 AOL commercial


Thomas Freeman is Texas-transplant and aspiring journalist trying (but often failing) to navigate New York City. A current NYU student, Thomas also writes articles and manages media content for 20to30.

Twitter LinkedIn Google+