ideas & ramblings

So long, ICQ

So, ICQ is shutting down. I decided to log in one last time, since I still, miraculously, have my original credentials. UIN 5437541, password unchanged since 1998—still rolls right off the fingers.

Screenshot of ICQ's user profile page circa May 2024

This isn’t what ICQ actually looked like for me when I was using it, but this is the closest I can get to a little snapshot in time before it’s gone forever. I was, apparently, a 21 year old geek from Halifax. “Seen a long time ago”.

The identities behind some of the screen names here have been lost to the sands of time. Although some of them were friends from real life, many more were ephemeral friends from the ether. I don’t have any idea who vertmamba was; I remember heyheystranger being a pretty close internet friend, but I don’t remember anything about her now. I talked to one of the people on this list earlier today.

ICQ really was something special to me. I was absolutely glued to it for most of 1998 in particular, although I used it for years and years. I made some great friends on there: Screenshot of ICQ's contact list circa May 2024


ICQ was the first social media platform I ever made a home on, and the uh-oh! notification sound will be etched in my mind forever. It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a quarter of a century since I was using it all day long; it’s even harder to believe that I’m still talking to some of those internet friends on a regular basis.

Goodbye, ICQ. Thanks for the friendships.