Shout-outs to homies, inside jokes, useless descriptions of the user that only 11 year old boys care about (much less believe); these are all facets of the common teenage AIM profile. Though such phenomena have existed in any messaging service that provides profiles, the early 21st century has shown reckless abandon for trends in AIM profiles. As of now (2/18/02), there have already been two major AIM profile trends, which are %letters, and SubProfiles.

The %letter trend, although having existed prior to the release of it, was revealed somewhere around AIM 3.0-4.0. The "Edit Profile" screen suddenly came with the dreaded information that typing %n would display the viewer's screen name, %t would display the viewer's current time, and %d would display the current date. It was harmless at first; due to it first being available in a beta, only those who downloaded that beta were aware of it. Finally, the final version was released, spreading the knowledge among all current AIM users that they could be "cool" and use these special characters in their profile. This resulted in an abundance of profiles that were nearly identical to the following example:

i love u, ::insert your screen name here::!!!!!! y r u
reading my profile at ::current time:: on ::current date::?

What was even more unfortunate was the fact that most AIM users with such profiles believed that %n, %t, and %d were secrets that only they were aware of. Though this trend still exists today, it is used more in moderation, and is even slightly more tasteful in some cases.

Now, in February of 2002, we are on the threshold of a new trend. This cornucopia of possible idiocy has been named........ the SUBPROFILE. Yes, infecting more AIM users each day, the SubProfile provides a plethora of space to store... ALL OF THE SHOUT-OUTS AND INSIDE JOKES YOU COULDN'T FIT INTO YOUR NORMAL AIM PROFILE. Along with bestowing that horror upon the Earth, it also brings another evil upon the world; a false sense of being clever. Apparently, 50% of the teens who use SubProfiles seem to believe that they were the first to discover it. In fact, many take up their regular profile space explaining why other AIM users should click on the link to view their SubProfile. As more and more features are added to these SubProfiles, such as guest books and links to websites, the user's delusions of being clever become greatly increased.

Despite the stupidity of such AIM extras as these, almost all of us are guilty of using them at one time or another, which displays how AIM trends can be easily compared to well known epidemics such as AIDS or the Ebola Virus. With it being only 2 years into the new millennium, who knows how many more dreaded AIM trends will pop into existence?

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