AIM in the 90s

It used to be that when I used an instant messenger to talk to a friend you wanted to try to make sure that as much of the ~hour~ I had online lined up with the ~hour~ they did. Except of course for those that were on college campuses I guess. So it was very important to make the most of the time you had. You’d sit there watching windows, wanting to make sure you missed nothing. Not responding to someone for ten minutes could be seen as dire.


Nowadays, the internet is in my pocket when I leave the house. There’s an asynchronous service for sending me short messages all the time. If you want a stream of babbling bullshit from my brain you can get it, guaranteed at almost any time. I’ve seriously looked into some sort of twitter hopper so I can mark tweets as ‘isolated bullshit’ and just let them trickle out over 24 hours.

It’s weird, because I feel like I’m still stressing out about conversations, as if not responding in 7~ minutes is making me a bad person, which of course means that if something happens so I don’t respond in ~2 hours, I’m basically Hitler. What makes this particularly weird is that we know we hold conversations on the bus, in the queue at the coffee place, in between classes.

By putting the internet into every part of my life, there’s no ‘off’ time any more, but there’s no on either. It’s just there, and some mornings can be a festival of apologising for sleeping in, grabbing breakfast, letting people know I’m okay, they’re okay, everything is fine, and then going on to actually leave the house and do things.

It’s pretty weird. I’m no longer a precious resource, and so, I mostly spend time online apologising for not being around enough.

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