Written by Hanifa Kamal
MSN, an instant messaging service, was popular in the mid 00s where times were much simpler. Though there are various instant messaging service today, nothing will ever compare to MSN. Here’s what we miss about MSN.
The Anticipation of Signing in
The act of signing in was an experience. Logging in with your email that was well and truly embarrassing (firstname.lastname@example.org) and watching the little msn figures go round and round in circles. You would be thinking, “I wonder who’s online? Who can I send nudges to?”
The Sheer Excitement of Getting a New Add
Once you’ve logged in, you would see that glorious box of someone adding you. You would have no idea who that person is based on their email, but you’d accept anyway just to get your contact numbers up.
The Phrase “Add my Addy”
This phrase was the LinkedIn equivalent of “Please add me add me to your LinkedIn Network” when you’d find out someone has msn. You’d write down their email address on a piece of paper and cherish it until you got home.
This is perhaps the most annoying and best part of MSN. Sending nudges to your pals over and over was banter, until someone would tell you to stop and you wouldn’t, resulting in you getting blocked.
Going on webcam was an absolute ball if your buddy had one. Back in the pre-historic days, some laptops did not have an integrated webcam, so some people had to buy an external webcam. You would coordinate when you’d go online just to go on webcam.
Emoticons were the original emojis. The pre-installed emoticons were great, but you could add your own custom emoticons, where you’d have every possible combination for on your keyboard.
If you were extra say, you could get an MSN ad-on where you could change the colour of your MSN name, or even send unlimited nudges. If you were an MSN n00b, your buddies name would look like “[c=399]J03 Blogz is ‘3re[/c=324]”. To an MSN expert with the fancy add-ons, the msn name would be in a funky gradient colour. Groovy.
Skeptical Messages in Your Message
Your personal message that would display alongside your main name would be where arguments and rumors would start. It would be common to put your friend’s name there, accompanied by an emoticon. Or perhaps you could be mysterious and tell everyone that you have a crush with a cryptic message of “(L)??????(L)”
Blocking to Appear Online then Offline
If you wanted someone to talk to you, perhaps a crush ;-), you would do anything to get his or her attention. Nudging them would be too extreme. Saying a simple “Hi” would be too desperate. The only way to get their attention would be to block, unblock, block, unblock, so that you would pop up over and over again.
Talking to Automated Bots
Bots were victims of verbal abuse on MSN. Smarter Child was a bot that would get abused on a daily basis. Swearing and asking crude questions is what you would do in your time when no one was online. You would always feel like a terrible person when Smarter Child would ignore you and you had to apologize.
Those who remember MSN would remember how much MSN was part of growing up. It taught us how to communication, how to type without looking at the keyboard, and it also has given us so many memories to look back on. Bring back MSN. Though there are so many messaging apps today, they will never beat MSN.