For those of us that were around in the MSN heyday, you’ll remember feeling anxious and confused when people started using Facebook and MSN started to slowly fade away into the depths of the social media abyss. It’s probably still down there somewhere, hanging out with Myspace.
MSN was a much simpler time. There was no stress about getting ‘likes’ on your new profile picture, you didn’t need to tell the world about everything that you were doing and if someone had ‘seen’ your message and was being a dick and purposely ignoring you, you were able to ‘nudge’ them, causing their screen to spasm and make a funny little sound until finally they started paying attention to you again. Nudging wasn’t the only gem of the MSN world. Walk with me. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
The ‘Appear Offline’ Feature Was the Greatest
It was important that people didn’t think you were always online with nothing else to do, so sometimes while you were attempting to do homework or talking to creepy dudes on ‘Habbo Hotel’, you’d pull a Harry Potter with this invisibility cloak and appear offline.
Sneakily, you’d check up on all the ‘losers’ that were wasting their afternoons away on MSN and you would only log in once you felt like enough time could have passed for a fictional walk in the park or if your crush had logged on.
Remember the way your heart would skip a beat when you saw their name pop up? Probably with a musical note emoticon next to it and the lyrics to some obscure song to show just how deep and cultured they were. You’d appear offline and then come back again a few times to try and get the other person to notice you. Your heart would flutter knowing that your name was popping up in the right hand corner of their screen and if they didn’t say hi… well you’d delete them of course and then add them back a few days l8er.
Typing for Ages to Try and Freak the Other Person Out, Then Freaking Out When They Did it Back to You
This is a problem that still exists in our society today. Facebook does it, I-phones do it, and MSN did it too. Being able to see when someone is typing is literally the most annoying thing ever, because sometimes they will change their mind and delete what they were going to say, leaving you on the edge of your seat screaming WHAT WERE YOU GOING TO SAY?
However, it was hilarious to pull this prank on other friends.
“I need to ask you a serious question….”
“Okay, what is it??”
*Sarah is typing…* (FOR FIVE MINUTES!)
Then all they would say is something annoying like, “Do you like cats or dogs” followed by a classic LOL or maybe even that weird pink pig that took over your screen a did a little dance. What even was that?
When You Were a Massive D**k to Smarterchild
Before Siri there was Smarterchild, a chatterbox service that MSN offered for those people that had an account, but didn’t really have any friends. For some reason, we’d always be total dicks to Smarterchild, starting off light with the classic “H R U?” and leaning into a conversation of expletives and unnecessary questions.
“Why are you so stupid Smarterchild? You’re so ugly and dumb!”
She (yes, I think Smarterchild was a woman) always kept her cool. No matter how mean you were to her, she would simply reply in her calm and collected way. “Why do you think I’m ugly and dumb?” She’d never leave you waiting, or BRB you. She was always there to talk if you needed her. So, why were we so mean to her? We really took advantage of her loyalty. And now she’s gone. R.I.P Smarterchild.
When You Pretended That You Had a Friend Over and They Were the Ones That Said That Really Embarrassing Thing…
For those of us in our late primary school/ early high school years, we used MSN as a place to flirt with people- didn’t even matter if you knew them or not, which in retrospect is super creepy and inappropriate. Where were our parents?
You’d spend hours after school on the computer, which meant you were always logged into MSN and usually tuning your crush. You’ve played it cool so far, subtly hinting that you like them and you even went as far as sending one of those obnoxiously large kissing faces that takes up the entire screen. Three hours have passed, now it’s time to make your move and ask if they want to go to the Christmas Carols with you this weekend.
You’re overwhelmed with a sense of excitement at the thought of a potential foreshore hook up and with that in mind you press send. Instant regret. You’re not ready for this kind of commitment, you’re only twelve for god’s sake! What if they say no? Everyone at school will know and they’ll all get into a group message and talk about you or even worse, you could get blocked for coming on too strong!
How do you fix this? Easy. Pretend that you had a friend over and that they typed it ‘as a joke’. You’ll look like a shitty friend for letting them sit around while you’re on MSN for hours, but at least your dignity is still intact. Or, you could pretend that you sent it to the wrong person, “Opps, wrong convo”, that way not only are you out of hot water, but you’ll also make them jealous thinking that you’ve got yourself a little piece on the side.
These days people wouldn’t fall for that line. We have to take responsibility for our f*** ups and the only way we can tell someone that we have feelings for them is by actually telling them. Or liking everything that they post on Facebook.