Saturday, November 24, 2007

*~The P0L!tiCz of ICQ~*

I am fluent in internet slang. They say the best way to learn a language is to practice speaking it, and I've been "speaking" (typing) Internt slang, since about 1998. Internet slang was first introduced to me via instant messaging, and more specifically via ICQ. ICQ was an instant messaging program, one of the originals, that has since been replaced by popular IM programs like MSN and AOL.

Like all online social tools, ICQ had politics. Loosely, ICQ had "rules", even if they were unwritten.

I got ICQ in grade 7. (I thought I was so cool. I had like three ICQ friends, and one was my older sister, who barely counted since we lived in the same hourse and couldn't even communicate online as we only had one computer). Anyways, my screen name never ever read plain old "Angela", but rather, it incorporated "funky" letters and annoying little swirlies. If I remember correctly, and I do, my first ICQ name ever was ~()T@l!@n_pR!n(e$$~. It often changed to other cool things like "I love BSB" and "**an_juh_lah**". But definetely, it was never just "Angela". That was the way ICQ worked.

My "Info box" in my profile details was updated almost daily, and rather than actually listing information about myself, it was always fully equipped with inside jokes and shout outs to as many of my ICQ friends as possible. Most of the time, it looked something like this:

~~Hey to all my gurlz - haley*nicole*cassie*vanessa*liz*danielle*sandra*sarah*amy*andrea
Hey to all my boiz - mike*mat*chris*brian*kevin*AJ*howie*nick*blah*etc*and*so*on.
To anyone i forgot, tell me so i can add u~~~~
(the info box always included swirls and/or stars)

If ever I added another friend's name to this urgently important list, I sent out a "notification" to my entire list. It usually read ~update info~(again, the swirls). My friends on my list then navigated my details till they found my info box, hit update, and hopefully, saw their name and were thankful for it. This was another way that ICQ worked.

Another ICQ "rule" was that you should never actually be available. I never put myself "Online" on ICQ. Usually, I put myself to N/A, even if I was at my monitor, so that I could fill in my away message with something sweet like "here w/ the galz!". For the times that I left my ICQ on when I was actually busy, it would have to read something like "out'n'about with (followed by a long list of names).Other times, I put myself to "Invisble" so that I could message only those people who I wanted to talk to. But I don't know what the point of that was since most of those people I wished to chat with were on my "Invisible List", which meant they could see me at all times, invisible or not, when everyone else couldn't. It was a popularity thing I guess.

ICQ was fun times. I can still hear the "Uh-Oh" everytime I think of receiving a message. I can still hear the "knock..knock...knock" when I remember a friend logging in. I can still remember ending every convo with "Lylas" (Love you like a sister). And most importantly, (or strangely), I can still remember my oldest ICQ # - 1019654710. If anyone still uses ICQ, feel free to add me. Just don't feel offended if you're not in my info box.


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