How AIM Changed the Internet 4ever

AOL Instant Messenger was the beginning of the end when it came to logging off.


Episode Notes

AOL Instant Messenger launched 25 years ago, but at the time nobody understood exactly how important it would be in shaping the way we all interact online. On today’s show, Rachelle and Madison talk to AIM expert Caroline Moss about the early years of the platform, the playful shenanigans people got up to on there as teens, and how it led us to the world of always being online. Caroline hosts the podcast Gee Thanks, Just Bought It!

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek John.


About the Show

Join Madison Malone Kircher and Rachelle Hampton twice a week as they gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back. All episodes


  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr’s demise.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.