Did you hear that AIM is no more? In reality, it has been no more for years, though to hear that AOL is ending my first jump into social media. It’s nostalgic.
I remember getting my first computer when I just moved away from home and stationed in Germany with Kevin. My dad told me to get a small loan to jump start my credit since I was working on base. I bought myself a computer. This computer was $2000 and as I look back, I’m thinking it wasn’t really worth that much. Other than that, it was mine. My own computer that I have wanted to own since I was 8 years old and using my parents’ old IBM to play Colossal Cave Adventure. This was my opportunity to check out the internet that I have only been able to peek into at the library or if by chance one of my friends actually had a computer.
My computer finally came. The one problem was that Kevin had just left for a few months to the field at Grafenwöhr and I had planned for him to set this thing all up for me. Instead of waiting a few months, I had set this thing up by myself, internet included. That part took me a few weeks and a lot of trips to the library. I’m so glad that networking is less confusing now. Of course, AOL is my whole internet world, as it was pretty much everyone’s start into the world wide web. AOL instant messenger was a Godsend for me. For those of my friends who had a computer, I was able to communicate to them. From the other side of the world! Since I have never been partial to talking on the phone, it was awesome. Much better email and quicker than handwriting a letter that someone will get a week or so later. This type of at-your-fingertips communication was new and exciting and you felt that you were in the loop with everyone. All the time. Being an introvert, I loved being able to reach out to friends without leaving my home.
I remember changing my screen name almost monthly because I couldn’t think of a good name to call myself. My personal profile looked like a daily blog and my avatars were crazy-looking cartoon characters. It was a simple chat room client that made all the world in keeping in touch with everyone. Although I have moved on years ago to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; AIM still has that nostalgia of going to grandma’s house and eating chocolate chip cookies in front of the fire. In the end, the memories will always be there.