Before the days of Snapchat, Facebook, iMessage, and even MySpace, AOL Instant Messenger was the chat network that sucked up all of our time and had the power to redefine the middle school lunch table hierarchy. Our AIM personas were carefully crafted, and based upon that now-mortifying reminder of our younger selves: the screen name.
This was the identifier that showed up on the "Buddy List," that accompanied our away statuses, and that our crush would see when we sent a flirty pre-teen message. It often included random numbers, extra letters for no reason, and capital letters in odd places. Some screen names were an indicator of how we wanted to be seen (at the time). Others were immature jokes among friends.
There's never been a better time to remember your identifier: Today, Oath, the parent company of AIM, announced that the service will be discontinued on December 15, 2017.
We asked 12 people to share their hilarious screen names and the inspiration (or lack thereof) behind them. Click through for a reminder of your own time spent with the little yellow running man.
This piece was originally published on February 21, 2017.