Before Snapchat, Instagram & Facebook, THESE Were the Social Media Platforms Your Older Siblings Used

Connecting with a stranger (or a celeb, for that matter) from a faraway land could not be simpler these days, thanks to Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

But before social media access was at our fingertips (and on our smart phones), it was a whole process to upload photos and send and receive messages.

Yes, believe it or not, there was actually a time when your older siblings had to physically sit down in front of a computer, dial into the internet with a (gasp!) modem and sign into a social service each time with a username and password in order to (virtually) brush elbows with new potential "friends."

MySpace, one of the most beloved social media networks of years past, celebrates its 13th anniversary today–and in honor of the momentous occasion, we are reliving some of the top social media services from that era. Keep reading to take a little blast into the past!

1. MySpace

Oh, MySpace, the O.G. home of the selfie. Whether it was duck lips or a bikini that you were bearing, you could do it all right here. The once-trendy network not only allowed you to search and message people from all over the world and personalize your page with songs and colorful glitter, but it even let you (for better or worse) select a Top 8 list to rank your friends. But like best buds came and went with the rankings, so did the popularity of this network with time. The site is still in business, however; and has morphed into a music discovery social network.

myspace homepage


2. AOL Chatrooms

Any idea what A/S/L means? If not, we'll bet those three letters were key to your older siblings on weekdays after school. Yes, age/sex/location were the initial three things you'd type into an America Online chatroom to get acquainted with other users. Some chatrooms were based on where you lived, others were based on interests–heck, some were even used to score MP3 music downloads (we'll save "MP3" speak for a whole 'nother post). But either way, this was your go-to, fresh from darting into the house after a long day of classes. While AOL Instant Messenger still exists today via a download (rack up those screen names on your buddy list, everyone!), sadly, the actual AOL chatrooms are no longer (tear, tear).

AOL chatroom


3. Friendster

A little before MySpace evolved onto the scene, there was a much less detailed app of similar nature: Friendster. The site allowed you to make a simple profile and search people by school, location and other such variables. Unfortunately for the service (a first of its kind), MySpace was far more intricate and developed, and it kind of blew this little guy out of the water. That said, as Friendster's networking popularity declined, it then relaunched in 2011 as a gaming forum. But in June 2015, the site sadly updated its homepage to say they suspended their services due to "the evolving landscape in our challenging industry."

Friendster search section


4. LiveJournal

Whoever told you all your deepest, darkest secrets involving boys, friends, school and emotions should be kept to a leather-bound book clearly never used LiveJournal. The digital diary forum certainly allowed users to lock their posts, but part of the site's draw was allowing users to share their innermost thoughts with a selected group of mutual users or the general public. Users were able to comment on various accounts and posts, and make new friends by relating to others' perfectly articulated emotions. You also had the option to create "communities" based on particular interests. The site still appears to be active, but with a much different interface than your big sis probably recalls.

LiveJournal homepage circa 2001


5. mIRC

This Windows-only server, which stands for Internet Relay Chat (the 'M' presumably stands for Microsoft), is a slightly more complicated system than the others. Operating on scripts and hashtags, if you weren't an active mIRC user, it wasn't something you'd get the hang of overnight. That said, the IRC world opened the doors to a slew of conversation topics, a diverse age group and an opportunity to download MP3s and full-length movies galore. There was also a buddy list similar to that of AIM, so chatting one-on-one was simple, and you were free to change your username at any given time. This chat client is still in business.

mIRC chatroom



Interfaces and networks may have changed in the world of social media over time, but annoying behavior on various platforms stays the same. Click HERE to read passive-aggressive moves we're sick of seeing on social media.