'RIP, MSN Messenger.' 10 things all millennials will remember from the 2000s internet.

The internet has come a long way.

For starters, we don't have to... dial into it anymore. It's just there. All the time.

But that wasn't always the case, and millennials who grew up throughout the 90s and 2000s were at the coalface, working with terribly slow dial-up and parents who couldn't call Grandma if we were busy asking someone their ASL. 

Ah, the good old days.

Here's a list of other early internet mems you've had stored away in your brain for 20 years.

Our parents yelling at us about the phone line.

At this point, with the internet at our fingertips, the idea of dial up internet is SO FUNNY.

What do you mean mum missed your aunty calling because you were busy signing in and out of MSN Messenger to get your crushes attention?

The fact that kids these days will never know the dial-up sound is a travesty.


Image: Neopets.


Not to brag, but I was somewhat of a Neopets legend. I was rich AF in this fake virtual world, running a business of 'trading painted pets', plus running a shop and trading stock on the Neopets stock market??? I don't even know how to trade real stocks on the real stock market! But as a 10-year-old, I was full of entrepreneurial spirit within the confines of's aptly named town, Neopia.

Neopets was (is? Has anyone checked on it lately?) an amalgamation of Tamagotchi and Pokemon, a website where taking care of 'pets' was the name of the game. But there was so much else to do in the virtual world, like play games to earn the currency, Neopoints, trade items at the trading post, battle other people's pets and lie about being 13 so you could get into the chatrooms.

I spent every minute of my one-hour daily allocation of internet time on the site, plus a little extra because if I was really quiet so my parents would forget about me.


RIP to all the pets I eventually abandoned. 

These doll avatars.

We all had dollz.

Nothing sums up being a child on the internet quite like these Dollz.

I don't remember any of the who/what/where/when/why, but I just know they were extremely important to me.

TyPiNg LiKe ThIs, and αℓѕσ ℓιкє тнιѕ.

We must've had a lot of free time.


BeCaUsE wErE yOu EvEn OnLiNe In 2005 If YoU dIdNt TyPe LiKe ThIs?

Now and then, you'd also spend 15 minutes ¢σpу αηd pαѕтιηg тнєѕє ¢нαяα¢тєяѕ fσя ѕσмє яєαѕση.

Logging in and out of MSN Messenger multiple times to get someone's attention.

MSN Messenger was the main mode of communication in our early internet days. There really was no rush like getting home from school to log in and virtually talk to the same people you'd just spent all day non-virtually talking to.

Messenger was also formative in millennial flirting culture.

Everyone would get notifications whenever somebody else came online, which meant we would all log in and out incessantly until our crushes talked to us.

When they did, the conversation went exactly like this:


Another surefire way for attention was to change our screen names to something sad. They were probably lyrics, from a Simple Plan song.

˜”*°•.˜”*°• I'm SoRrY i CaN't Be PeRfEcT •°*”˜.•°*”˜

Choosing your top friends.

There's always a lot of talk about the toxicity that can thrive on social media like Instagram and TikTok.



Nothing started drama like a friend who didn't rank you in the same space as you ranked them on MySpace or Bebo, and god forbid someone gets a boyfriend and puts them in the top spot.

Learning HTML.

As a child, I taught myself basic coding just so I could make my own Neopets and Bebo 'skins'. 

They were hideous, and my can-do attitude has since died, but I can still <b>, <i> and <p> till the cows come home.

Pirate Bay/Napster/Limewire.

Or whatever else your illegal downloading platform of choice was.

Kids these days will never know the pain of hitting download on 'Leave (Get Out)' before you go to bed, waking up the next day full of excitement because it should've finished downloading by then, only to hit play and it to be a recording of Bill Clinton saying 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman'.

Why was that a thing? Who did that? What was the point? 

It was some truly effective trolling, before most of us even knew what trolling was.


Still, it was a better outcome than accidentally burning down your parents' computer with a virus while trying to download the newest Weird Al Yankovic song.


Image: Picnik.


After taking photos on a digital camera (bonus points if it was a pink Sony Cybershot), in Supre outfits and with thick eyeliner, we would upload our photos to a computer and spend an hour upping the saturation on ALL OF THEM, with photo editing website Picnik.

We'd then add a border and text, reading "bEsT fRiEnDs 4eVa<3" or lyrics from a Fall Out Boy song, print them off at Kmart and then Blu Tack them to your wall.


It was a full-blown ritual.

Habbo Hotel.

Image: Habbo Hotel.


One time one of my friends won a Habbo Hotel design competition and had their avatar displayed on the Habbo homepage. I had never known jealousy like it.

Habbo was a game and instant messaging site where we all made cute lil' avatars, played games, designed rooms and hung out by the virtual pool.

Sometimes people would write swear words or ask you to marry them, but most of the time it was chill.

My favourite thing to do was complete user-made puzzles then head to the cafe to drink coffee, because I was a sophisticated 11-year-old.

Chelsea McLaughlin is Mamamia's Senior Entertainment Writer. For more pop culture takes, recommendations and... sarcasm, you can follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: MSN/Dollzmania/Neopets/Bebo.