Did ICQ really need to disappear?
I remember the thrill of excitement back in the day when anyone could reach out to another person online and get his answer within seconds. You knew that person was there at the other end, there were no excuse not to be.
For some of us, it could have been the first time to be exposed to the technological shock and freedom of the upcoming era. The times when you knew that anyone on the web, even if you never met this person, is either your friend or enemy.
I’m talking about instant messengers like AOL or ICQ, the one that I used the most. It was the times where everything felt fresh, friendly and full of wonder. There was a special kind of beauty that isn’t here anymore and I want to believe it’s not just a pure nostalgia. These days sending a message through a modern messengers feels like penetrating of private property.
I find the diversity of messengers disruptive. Skype have never been a bigger mess since it was acquired by Microsoft. Mobile app always takes forever to get online, mess with my contact list and online status. Messages from the group conversation keep popping up in a infinite loop burning your traffic. I never know for sure whether the message was sent or not.
Whatsapp, Telegram, Viber and such, they all look pretty alike and seem to be deeply tied into mobile platforms. Even though some of them have Desktop or Web version, they mostly feel unresponsive and barely customizable. I couldn’t set up any of them to turn off avatars or to show the sender and his message on the same line, the way I used it to be. I just refuse to accept the UI in which 15 messages fills my entire screen.
ICQ was a very first instant messenger I ever used. Thus it made it into a special place in my heart, a place which is now empty. The times are changing and things have to go away. Disruptive abundance of social networks and mobile messengers did not fill the gap for me. It’s a sad fact that it had to go away so early. Was it really necessary, or something have dramatically changed since?
I probably never forget my ID number. It took me a few guesses to remember my password though. I watched the app connect, still felt exciting as it used to be. Wow, there’s two persons still online in my contact list! I wonder how long will they last for.