Teenagers in 2016 might have Snapchat, but teenagers in 2006 had MSN and MySpace, which were JUST as fun in a weird, welcome-to-the-internet, this-is-all-we-have kind of a way. If you spent as much time crying over picture comments and signing in and out JUST IN CASE YOUR CRUSH HADN’T NOTICED YOU as I did, maybe some of these’ll take you back…
Choosing friends to go in your ‘top 8’ was a never-ending struggle
Did you ever rotate friends so no-one got annoyed? I bet you did. You tried a top 16 a few times but realised it looked awful and tacky and as if you were trying too hard to say LOOK, I HAVE PALS! You were jealous of the cool kids who’d managed to whittle it down to a mere top 4, comprised only of their very best, big-fringed buddies.
You had an MSN font. You stuck to it
But there was always that one friend who was a right bloody flake and changed their font every time they logged in. This was an issue, because you recognised your friends by their fonts and also sort of judged them by their fonts, too (helloooo, Comic Sans. You just lost your place in my top 8 and you only have yourself to blame).
You lurked offline, just because
The day you found out that MSN had an ‘appear offline’ function was a good day. A GREAT DAY. You could talk to all the interesting people while telling all the boring people that you couldn’t make it online. But trouble cropped up when an interesting person told a boring person that they were talking to you – cue angry “HAVE U BLOCKED ME???” messages and a very dramatic discussion the following day at school.
You had to take your selfies with a digital camera
And your routine was literally: HOLD CAMERA OUT, TURN IT AROUND, TRY DESPERATELY TO TAKE A PHOTO THAT GETS YOUR WHOLE FACE IN AND HOPE YOU LOOK POUTY AF. If you wanted assurance, you had to use a mirror. You didn’t have a good one in your room so you kept trying to use your dad’s when he was out and then wished he and your mum had a cooler bedroom so your selfie backdrop wouldn’t look so shit.
You spent your free time deciding which profile songs to use over the next few weeks
Sometimes you’d even make a little post-it note with a list of good-uns. People mocked you, but you KNEW that your profile songs trumped everyone else’s and that it wasn’t your fault that their idea of creativity was keeping that one 30 Seconds to Mars song on their page for six months straight.
Your mum would always come in to check that you were using the PC for educational purposes
And you’d have to frantically click back onto a revision website. YES, MUM, I AM ON GCSE BITESIZE. OH MY GOD, CAN’T YOU JUST LET ME LIVE? I AM GONNA FUCKIN’ ACE MY GCSEs AND YOU’LL BE SORRY YOU EVER DOUBTED ME. YEAH. YEAH, I AM. *tries to hide MSN nudge from Laura*
Sending out a MySpace bulletin was the best way to show you were LIVID
HELLO, passive-aggressive song lyrics! Take that, shitty friend/boyfriend/parent/person I will never meet but feel a strange fondness for. I’m real mad at ya, and I believe that this bridge and chorus sum up my feelings in a paragraph. READ IT AND WEEP.
You were dealing with pesky ‘read’ receipts before WhatsApp was even a thing
This was thanks to MySpace messages, AKA the cause of all the arguments you had between 2005 and 2008. Don’t even try and lie to me, MySpace friend who doesn’t know this feature exists. I’m onto you.
If you liked someone, you’d keep an eye on how things were going by seeing how your ‘goodbye’ messages progressed
For example, if things moved from “G2G” to “See you soon xxxxxx *custom waving GIF*” you knew you were onto a winner. If they asked for webcam, things were getting even better. HEY! JUST HANGIN’ OUT WITH ALL THIS MAKE-UP ON EVEN THOUGH IT’S SUNDAY AND I HAVEN’T LEFT THE HOUSE ALL DAY. Oh, this old thing? Don’t be silly! *spends entire conversation staring at own face but pretending not to*