MSN Messenger is dying. If you haven’t heard already, MSN is said to be shutting down during March this year. How sad. Another era has ended. We’ve seen the disappearance of: payphones, Metcard machines, tapes, tape recorders, video tapes, floppy disks, soon cd-roms, MySpace, MSN space (what this blog domain used to be), and now MSN Messenger Chat.
Remember when MSNPlus came out, and our abilities to customise our “nicknames” opened endless possibilities to create a colourful bunch of letters and symbols? Like my friend Johnny, I’m sure many of us spent hours trying to figure out how to arrange codes in order to create these wonderfully tb nicknames in the first place. This was never enough though, a mood or a subtitle will have to follow the already incredibly long nickname too. The process would repeat often and after a few hours, as boredom strikes and you would like to show others that you’re creative by changing your nickname, the 4th time that same day. Not to mention being able to switch up the skins of your messenger to any bizarre thing you’d like so that your window would look even more cluttered than it needs to – that was the luxury.
Remember when animated emoticons became notoriously annoying?
What about large group conversations that will blast the bright blinking lights out of your system, so much so that you become so immune to it you miss out on that epic call. Being able to name and categorise groups on your list seemed to produce such unusual thrill and satisfaction, as though to assure yourself that you indeed belonged and is valued somewhere, even if you’re the 6th member of “Fob Five” (I was embarrassingly the 6th member of my friend’s chat group “Fob Five” baack in 2005). And how about the convenience of being able to chain message everyone “Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year” to show them you at least care enough to even send them a message at all; and then possibly get lucky enough to pick up a girl who was stupid enough to think you really did? (unfortunately my case with my boyfriend and I).
What will become of all these small unnecessary things? Did we suddenly become too old for it? Did stripping us away from all the customisation, individuality, tbness, make us more mature or just more boring?
I know it’s just a place to chat, and all you really need is font face, size, file transfer etc. But why have we become so bland that even a “nickname” can only be changed if your entire MSN Messenger account profile “name” changes along with it?
Of course, this is not just about the exterior. It’s about the way we change along with our environment; it’s about another “page in history”, it’s about, things eventually coming to an end so to make room for hopefully better things to come.