People moved on, and so did I., my first anime obsessions.
I also went through several different screennames during the '90s, as my family hopped between free trials on America Online, Prodigy and countless other early internet services.
All of my school friends were there, but most importantly, so were my online friends.
These were people I never met in person, but I still somehow ended up spending hours chatting with them about anime, video games and the ennui of being a '90s kid.
And aside from the away message, there just isn't really a better example of something that neatly and concisely depicts the often mortifying process of navigating through your teens.
It was my first taste of true independence, having spent all my life under the roof (and watchful eyes) of my parents.
But around 2010 AIM's popularity started to decline. Now the OG of instant messaging apps is being put out to pasture. But first the Engadget staff wanted to give it a proper send off.
The news of AIM's demise initially brought on a moment of nostalgia and a twinge of sadness.
Eventually, I settled on "bokunotenken," a reference to the anime series .
Once AIM launched as a separate app in 1997, it became more useful as a way to chat with people across the web, no matter their ISP.