Remorseful and pale / as always these news travel fast

So after last week's post where I had that tangent to AIM I thought about writing a post dealing with communication because hey guys guess what communication is writing! 

(side note: I'm amazed I'm still coming up with ideas for writing topics for the Tuesday thoughts. But, if you have any suggestions about stuff YOU'D like to see me talk about, leave them in the comments. Nothing too political.)

On to the topic!

You ever think about the time you started communicating instantly with other people over the computer? I think we lose sight about how radical that idea is, just as we lose sight of how incredible internet access is to begin with or how spoiled we really are. 

I don't remember how I discovered instant messaging, but the when was maybe around age 11 or 12 and the wonderful, wonderful ICQ. I still somehow remember my ICQ number and my account still exists there, even if it's been, what, close to 15 years since I last logged in?

Don't know why I hyperlinked in that particular sentence but let's just go along with it.

This fascination of being online appealed to this comparatively-friendless kid. Sure, I had one or two friends from school and my primos but I was the only one with really geeky interests like writing. So ICQ helped.

And then the instant messengers became as thing.

Who doesn't remember coming up with a fancy, witty, away message -- for showers, being away from computer, busy, etc.? Or for MSN users, the unmistakeable log-in screen. 

There was also a point once...check this y'all...where you couldn't send offline messages. I find all of this fascinating. I think of the future children of the AIM/MSN Messenger generation.

"Hey, dad."

"Yes, crotchling?"

"What was the internet like when you were young?"

"Well, if we messaged someone and they weren't online, then our message came back as rejected. It also did it if they blocked us."

"Wait, there was an offline?"

This image is my favorite (you might have seen it floating around without the watermark but I found the artist!)

Just think. Conversations used to look like this:

I'll confess. I was the kind of guy to write like that. At one point a classmate in sophomore year told me, "Dude, you write like a 40 year old."

This was the later version.

This was the later version.


And I had those things going while I played. Look back to my post about fanfiction several weeks ago, and the screenshot from Tibia. Look at the taskbar.

Click for a closer look:

Antisocial. Pfft.

I'm not going to sit here and bitch about how technology is everywhere and OH MY GOD THE MILLENIALS.

(Aside: There was also a racial component to MSN/AIM. Being in the border, my Anglo friends and classmates primarily stuck to AIM. My Mexican friends (and the international friends I met through Tibia) stuck to MSN Messenger.)

Technology is crazy. I mean, I remember trying to build my first website through Homestead and how awful that was, or how you needed to know a lot about HTML coding to create a website that didn't have the user-friendliness of a live cougar. 

It's something to appreciate, y'know.


Image credits: