Tough Questions: If You Had to Use AOL Instant Messenger in 2014, What Would Your Screen Name Be?


Every Monday we ask everyone who hangs out around here to answer a tough question. This week:

If You Had to Use AOL Instant Messenger in 2014, What Would Your Name Be?

Rules are simple: Imagine a world where everyone is back on AIM. It’s easy, if you try. Imagine conducting every important conversation (and let’s be honest, every not-at-all important conversation) with someone named SoxGuy2020 or xXQTAngelXx. We were really, really close to that reality until Google replaced AIM. We almost lived in an even dumber world than we do now. If AIM had crushed Google in the battle for relevancy, who would you be in 2014?

Alex Russell

I have no shame about my absurd choice of alex is so loud in my teenage years. It is amazing to me how long I once agonized over this concept. Now, I’m just Alex Russell. That’s boring. That’s simple. That isn’t an unfunny joke, like I like so much! RussellAndFlow, clearly.

Jonathan May

My screen name back in the day was thenjonsays, the concept of which I shamefully stole from a friend in high school. If AIM were alive and kicking now, I would probably go with whydidn’tyoujusttextme or markwahlberginfear. The more that I look at screen names though, the more I think they’re a precursor to hashtags. You try to evoke a whole mood in a hashtag, and the screen name was, like, your total identity on AIM. Yeah, you thought you were funny too in the late 90s.

Andrew Findlay

My AIM name would be, and whenever anyone messaged me I would reply with a frowny emoji and wait for them to contact me on a non-defunct messaging service.

It’s dead – leave it buried. Although it was beautiful while it lasted. My first substantive conversations with my current wife took place on AIM, and nearly every member of our generation is an amazing typist because they practiced on AIM for at least an hour every day during high school.

Alex Marino


Because I work in data analysis and I graduated high school in 2003. And if you don’t have your birth or high school graduation year in your AIM screen name you’re a basic bitch. Throw triple Xs on the beginning and end (before the landmark Vin Diesel film) because people need to know how fucking cool and edgy I am.

Austin Duck

TQ: I would stick with my screen name from the way-way back: ADCloWnLoVE. Sure, the Insane Clown Posse have come out as closet Christians hiding behind some super-bizarre carnival misdirection, but shit. I grew my heart on clown love. (Note: This is not an endorsement of the Insane Clown Posse or its music).

Brent Hopkins

Not sure what he means by had to use AIM in 2014. I still am logged onto AIM 24/7/365. I also am on ICQ at all times as well. Screen name: Soulcalibur74, ICQ 161590484. Feel free to message me. If I were to change the screen name, though, I would go with my adult movie name obviously… Onyx Monolith. I am not a discreet man.

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