AIM was also pretty much the start of social media. There was a lot of exhibitionism. Away messages were the peak example of this. Sometimes the away message you left up for nine hours was more important than any conversation you had that day. It was the original flex. It was the original tweet. You wanted to let people know that you had an awesome life. Away messages were basically a way to say, “Your lame ass is on the computer but I’m out here getting it.” You left away messages like that when you could. You also found out about fun stuff other people were doing via away messages and felt left out.
—Remember When AIM Was The Greatest Thing Ever? by Ernest Baker
This is the realest. My away message game was so on point (and also very well-constructed to make my life seem as cool and me seem as witty as possible).