Here’s a blast from the Internet past…

4 minute read

November 20, 2014, 8:28 PM

So for Throwback Thursday, here’s a little blast from the Internet past: my old AOL Instant Messenger away messages!  Yes, AOL Instant Messenger, otherwise known as AIM, i.e. this:

AIM, circa April 2000

I was recently shuffling some files around on my computer, and found these, which I had preserved as a backup in February 2007, when I moved my computer from the Gateway to the Dell.  I want to say that I used AIM for about fifteen years.  I started using it the summer after I graduated high school, and stopped using it earlier this year, telling the two people that I still talked to primarily via AIM (both in-real-life friends) that I was dropping AIM and for them to use Facebook chat to get a hold of me.

When I was in college from 1999-2003, everyone used AIM (think social media before Facebook existed), and away messages were something that you did, because if you weren’t at your computer, you set an away message telling people where you were.  I want to say that I did away messages until around 2007 or so, and then finally decided to stop posting them, having grown tired of them, and figuring that just going idle would be sufficient to indicate that I’m not around.

That said, I was such a geek with these old messages.  I laughed quite a bit when I unearthed this file.  It’s funny to think about what I considered to be humorous back when I was in college, what I considered to be important, and what my tastes were.

First, my “idle” message, which went on automatically if I hadn’t set an away message before getting up:

Well, [recipient’s screen name], since you’re reading this message, it means I forgot to set an “away” message, so there’s no telling what I’m up to…

Then the away messages themselves:

Place your sand sculptures of famous renaissance statues right over here, and then pick up your wine bottles here.  Doesn’t that deserve an Arbor Mist?

We’re sorry, but the away message you have requested is not in service. Please close your window, and send your message again.  Error code 3265.  [And some people occasionally really did retry their message.]

DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL! SchuminWeb will be right back.

Take a whole bunch of fruit flavors, mash them all together into a red-colored concoction, then reduce it to a powdered form, and then THROW IT ON THE BARBECUE!  Makes for some neat-colored flames.  Warning: Don’t try this at home.  (If not painfully obvious already, I’m out finding somewhere to burn a punch)  [This refers to dining plan meal punches, which had a cash equivalent at certain campus facilities.]

I’m kinda busy at the moment…

What is our society’s biggest energy source? I’d hazard a guess that we as a society probably use more caffeine in a day than fossil fuels or whatever else. Yes, our society is running on pure caffeine. And think – caffeine is a renewable resource! Yay!

Out filling my mind with wisdom and knowledge gained from professors and textbooks.

Nice days make great fire drill weather, don’t you think?  [This got a bit of response when I first used it, and I also wrote about it at the time.]

This is your friend: “Of course I’ll go to the prom with you! You’re a dork, and I totally dig it!” This is your foe: “Well, I know you have that important message to send, but I’m not here and don’t know when I’ll be back, but I’ll get back to you… eventually…”

Good morning/afternoon/evening, dear friend/family member/random person. I am currently away/busy/out/sleeping/working. Please leave me some darts/pats/love/messages.

Invite the neighbors! I have feed!  [Pretty sure that this was a “having dinner” message.]

Nature’s calling. Be right back.

Duty, once again… another fun-filled night in the Potomac Hall office, where they occasionally let me out to make rounds, but otherwise, not much happens, for the most part. Come visit me!

It’s another day… places to go, things to see, and people to do…

If you’re reading this, you are obviously not doing anything productive. Talking to me while I’m not here is not productive. Go do something productive! I’ll be back soon enough!

I’m over by the quad taking classes for my Public Administration major!

A quick reminder of the rules…
Rule #1: Schumin is always right
Rule #2: If Schumin is wrong, read #1

I am out doing secret RA stuff…

I’m out hitting up Sheetz for some stuff. Gotta love those Pepsi slushes…

Shiver me timbers! SchuminWeb’s not here right now!

I’m in the shower, making myself smell nice and clean, so pretty ladies will go, “Wow, he smells good! I wonder if he’s available…” [For the record, no one ever said that, but I could dream, right?]

Sleep. Sleep is good.

I am sleeping until at least noon… go ahead – TRY and wake me up! Five bucks says you can’t. (Warning: All bets will not be honored)

I’m studying… reading textbooks, writing papers… isn’t college grand?

Timber me shivers! SchuminWeb’s… wait a second… what am I saying here?

I am out partying, smoking, drinking, and having wild, unprotected sex. Catch you later!

So there you are.  It is most definitely the product of a younger man, and taken in context, Schumin Web also came off at that time as the work of a much younger man as well.  Compare Journal entries from a decade ago to now, and you’ll see a marked difference.

And now, of course, I believe that the away message has been replaced by the Facebook status.  My Facebook statuses these days are much wittier than my away messages ever were…

Categories: JMU, Social media