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The sad news broke last week that everyone’s favorite instant messaging platform, AIM, will be retired for good on December 7, 2017. Heartbreaking.

AIM was one of the first opportunities that allowed teenagers to chat with friends through a screen (before unlimited texting was around) and to express themselves via social media.

Your online presence was completely personalized — your avatar, away message and the lyrics you decided to post in your profile for the week. Your buddy list notified you when your friends were online with a sign-in noise unique to them so you, without fail, knew which of your friends was ready to talk. If none of your buddies were online, there was need to worry, you always had the option of chatting with SmarterChild, AIM’s Siri-esque robot.

In honor of AIM’s retirement, I thought I’d ask some of the JB office what their screen names were (after all, you could tell a lot about a person based on their screen name) and their favorite part about the revolutionary messaging platform.


Steve Gaither, President

Screen Name: JBgrafx (JB Chicago was originally Johnny Boy Graffix) when Christina and I killed the club scene

Favorite Part: Listening to the modem screech!


Lindsey Lullo, Account Supervisor

Screen Name: LSquared115

Favorite Part: Getting to put up “cool” away messages.


Dane McDonald, Copywriter, Brand Strategist + Social Media Manager

Screen Name: beachbum229073

Favorite Part: I LOVED telling people that you could have completely different conversations with any number of people! You could be crying with one person and laughing with another. I used that line so much to explain it to adults.


Kimberly Laughlin, Brand Strategist + Senior Copywriter

Screen Name: Kimbo407

Favorite Part: Pretending to be working on the computer, but I was really just waiting for my crush to get online… I’d suddenly become very not busy.


Be sure to say goodbye to your buddies and leave a killer “away message” as AIM signs off one last time.