Fifteen years ago: I had never heard of it.
Ten years ago: It was ubiquitous.
Now: It’s dead.
I can’t imagine how much different my 20’s (especially my early 20’s) would have been without Instant Messenger. I used AOL’s IM program for three or four years before I ever had a cell phone or sent my first text message.
IM got me through many a boring afternoon of studying (or, some say, class) and allowed me to communicate (or, some say, annoy) friends and adversaries alike throughout law school. And, even if I were never totally sure whether it was “Instant Messenger” or “Instant Messager,” I won’t soon forget what it added to my day-to-day existence from 2001 until 2006 or so.
It’s surreal to think that a technology that didn’t exist when I was in high school, was unknown to me when I was in college, and was indispensable when I was in grad school is now about to become extinct.
First the Encyclopedia Britannica and now this. Rough day for people old enough to remember the Reagan Administration.
Michael McDonald and Aretha Franklin were right.