Sexy flirt chat
Nowadays, the trend is to lament the sliding of face-to-face conversation into digital messaging: mom texting instead of yelling up the stairs, my editor sternly typing to me from a neighboring desk in our open-plan office.
But for a middle-schooler, nothing was better than escaping the pressures of the school hallway for an afternoon on the computer screen.
The reason people still remember my screen name has nothing to do with my particular online charm, though as a bookish 13-year-old with braces and acne, I certainly did feel more at ease shuffling through chat windows than talking to girls in person.
Those afternoons I spent flirting on AIM with the pretty older girls in math class weren’t exactly supplying me with moves I could use on a date.
But since behind every great real-life date is the great text that proposed it, they might have helped me get one.
In the days before texting, i Message, Gchat, Facebook Messenger, and Slack became standard, cross-generational communication modes, AIM was a place for teens to figure out who they were.
Was this all a crash-course for real-world high school socializing, the kind where you had to be funny in conversation, learn how to join a group of people talking, and have older friends invite you to parties? But more accurately, it was a way to burnish real-world relationships that didn’t require the use of skills you lacked in the real world, like holding eye contact.