A long, long time ago when Facebook didn’t yet exist and text messaging was something we never even dreamed of, people lived and breathed by AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM as most of us called it. AIM certainly evolved throughout the years, but the way we used it always remained the same: to say things we would (hopefully) never say to people in person. We, for some reason, had hundreds of screen names on our buddy list consisting of almost our whole grade, our sports teams, our camp friends, ‘older kids,’ and random people we didn’t even know (from that hot older boy you saw in the hallway at school once to SmarterChild, who wasn’t even a real person… or was he?). We IMed our friends and occasionally IMed or were IMed by people we never actually spoke to in person, which could get slightly awk at school. We decorated our profiles (and subprofiles) with our BFF’s initials, inside jokes, heart warming quotes, and many exciting colors. And of course, we crafted ‘clever’ away messages using depressing song lyrics, sequential lists of every single thing we did throughout the day, and our feelings. With the recent craze of @yourawaymessage, a Twitter feed that will bring back memories of your middle school, high school, and freshman year of college days, my past away messages have started to come back to me.
When I look back on the things I used to put in my away messages, I laugh because, well, it was kind of hilarious. ‘Class, class, gym, class, dinner, cheerleading, shower, sleep.’ Like, no one needed to know that. The worst was my excessive use of song lyrics that I deliriously thought related to my life. Which is why today I am leaving you with 15 songs I used to put in my away messages… and why:
1. Crooked Teeth – Death Cab for Cutie
‘And you can’t find nothing at all If there was nothing there all along’
When I wanted to express my feelings towards a boy who probably didn’t know I existed. (Seth Cohen loved Death Cab, btw, so this was also my way of talking to a fictional character who not only didn’t know I existed – but didn’t actually exist).
2. Graduate – Third Eye Blind
‘Can I look in faces that I meet, Can I get my punk ass off the street, I’ve been living on for so long, Can I graduate?’
When I wanted to graduate from high school already… And of course when I graduated high school. I had been looking forward to making that my away message on graduation day since 8th grade.
3. Something Corporate – Hurricane
‘Shake down you make me break for goodness sake, I think I’m on the edge of something new with you’
When I developed a new crush.
4. Hanginaround – Counting Crows
‘I’ve been hangin’ around this town on a corner… I’ve been bummin’ around this old town for way too long…‘
When I was being dramatic and wanted to let everyone know how bored and sick of my town I was after a night of aimlessly driving around with multiple stops at McDonalds and/or Wendy’s.
5. Two Points For Honesty – Guster
‘If that’s all you will be, you’ll be a waste of time’
When I, again, wanted the boy I liked who didn’t know I existed to know he f*cking sucked.
6. Acoustic #3 – Goo Goo Dolls
‘And she wonders where these dreams go, ‘Cause the world got in her way, What’s the point in ever trying, Nothing’s changing anyway’
When I was depressed for absolutely no reason at all and wanted people to feel bad for me/ask me what was wrong… so I could say ‘nothing.’
7. Transatlanticism – Death Cab for Cutie
‘I need you so much closer’
When I was rejected by a boy and wanted said boy to know I was hurt even though he would most likely never see the message… or care.
8. Ignition – R Kelly
‘Sippin on coke and rum, I’m like so what i’m drunk, It’s the freakin weekend baby, I’m about to have me some fun’
When my awkward high school freshman self was going to a friend’s house on a Friday night to hang out and not drink.
9. Soco Amaretto Lime – Brand New
‘I’m gonna stay eighteen forever, So we can stay like this forever, And we’ll never miss a party, Cause we keep them going constantly’
When I turned 19. And when I was scared of going to college and wanted to continue partying in parking lots on a regular basis (joke… kind of).
10. Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard
‘If I could find you now things would get better, We could leave this town and run forever, I know somewhere, somehow we’ll be together, Let your waves crash down on me, And take me away, yeah’
When I was going through my California phase where I only wore Hollister and dreamed of living in California… and wanted to find a boy that would ‘leave this town’ and ‘run forever’ with me there.
11. Lover I Don’t Have To Love – Bright Eyes
‘Love’s an excuse to get hurt, And to hurt, Do you like to hurt?, I do, I do, Then hurt me’
When I wanted to seem mysterious while showing my love of super cool scene music and my hatred of love… and love of, umm, hurting? Weird.
12. Mr. Brightside – The Killers
‘Jealousy, turning saints into the sea Swimming through sick lullabies Choking on your alibis, But it’s just the price I pay Destiny is calling me Open up my eager eyes ‘Cause I’m Mr. Brightside’
When I… well basically just because I f*cking love(d) this song. And because I was (am) constantly jealous. Of everything and everyone.
13. Cute Without The E – Taking Back Sunday
‘Hoping for the best just hoping nothing happens, A thousand clever lines unread on clever napkins, I will never ask if you don’t ever tell me, I know you well enough to know you never loved me’
When I found out my ex was talking to another girl while we were dating. This whole song is basically an ode to someone who broke up with you. I used various lyrics from this song in various away messages (and in my profile too). It was deep.
14. Motorcycle Driveby – Third Eye Blind
‘And this is our last time, We’ll be friends again, I’ll get over you, you’ll wonder who I am, And there’s this burning, Just like there’s always been, I’ve never been so alone alone, And I’ve, and I’ve never been so alive’
When I mentally ended a relationship I had with someone else in my head… or when I decided to stop liking someone because I came to terms with the fact they were never going to like me back… or when I actually broke up with a real, live person (this was rare).
15. Mr. Jones – Counting Crows (this song has two mentionable lyrics)
‘Believe in me because I don’t believe in anything… and I want to be someone to believe’ –
When I wanted to seem philosophical.
‘We all want to be big stars, but we don’t know why, and we don’t know how. But when everybody loves me, I’m going to be just, about as happy as I can be.’
When I wanted the world to know I was going to be a big f*cking deal one day. And guess what – I still am going to be… one day. So watch out.