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Then Facebook came along, with all the of “only college students use it,” and we drifted there.
Its pseudo-maturity and time-delayed interactions allured us.
The words and the alert sounds swirl around you and you know how to read them and hear them because our culture—that But when we invented it, we didn’t have text messages, we didn’t have Snapchat, we didn’t have group chats or Instagram DMs or school-provided Gmail accounts. And iconic alert noises played at certain actions: the “Those status messages,” you say. ” As thunderous piano-accompanied art songs were to the sad young men of Romantic Germany, so were status messages to us. 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.
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 side of the library where everyone smoked.
You can use G-Chat to message a friend in Poppa, to figure out whether the temperamental printer there is working before you make the trek, or just to ask a friend how far they are on studying for that upcoming midterm. We’ve all had to send it – that socially awkward text to someone in your class, one that you’ve never actually talked to, because you desperately need the homework. Since every CMCer automatically has G-Chat as part of their email, it tends to catch on as you get older.
Upperclassmen are certainly the most active G-Chat users, whereas freshmen struggle to get their buddy list started.
We wrote subtweety openings as our Facebook status, hoping our crush would comment there instead. It was like Gchat or i Message, but you could only do it from a desktop computer.They might have a succinct description of our emotional state. But we never actually said that outright; instead, we hinted at their sins and petty slights through suggestion and understatement. Their away lights twinkled in a constellation of teenage social possibility.“What did you even talk about? We asked if they had copied down the math problem sets.You can also add buddies to G-chat by using the “Search, add, or invite” feature.Simply start typing a friend’s name in this box, located at the top of your buddy list, and they should be suggested automatically thanks to your CMC address book. Just like AIM Away Messages, G-Chat allows you to set your availability to “Available” or “Busy,” with a space to elaborate known as your G-Chat status.It is used as a question to find out the age, sex (or gender), and general location of the person one is talking to.This concept brings up ethical questions regarding users "chang[ing their] identity, adopt[ing] new personalities and keep[ing] dreams and fantasies virtually real" in the internet world.Instant messaging, once a special thrill, now sets the texture of our common life. So AIM, my old buddy, don’t feel bad if you see us shedding a tear. For we’ll see you waving from such great heights—“Come down now,” we’ll say.But everything looks perfect from far away.“Come down now,” but you’ll stay.Then feel free to use whatever dumb alias you wish.) AIM appears to have fallen by the way-side, to the graveyard of outdated programs.Though some may still cling to the hope that it will have a comeback, it is time to face reality.