AOL= (any) (old) (lady)

Cover of "You've Got Mail"

Cover of You've Got Mail

You are very proud to announce that you still have an AOL address.  Yet often, you feel a wee bit embarrassed when quoting it.  Whether it be inside the Apple store, or online with J. Crew–or any of the other  hip companies, so to speak.  (you actually DO have a gmail address, but you often forget to check it).  Your offspring have told you that Google has SO much more to offer, but, still and yet, you do love the big visual kick you get out of AOL every morning.  You don’t read the colorful spread of Baby Boomer material, but you still prefer the format.

You became cognizant of the whole antiquated AOL-thingy when:  Your sister-in-law–an architect in New York–said, after you shared aol email addresses–“I guess this really ages us, doesn’t it?”  The answer is:  yepper, it does.

Neither of you are old, per se, perhaps just old-fashioned.  You have checked out the competition, and as of now, AOL still rules in your book, as out-dated as that may sound.   Even though you do google (such a wonderful verb) ALL DAY LONG.

But who was there, with us, from the get-go, during the whole advent of the internet?  AOL.  You remember going to see the movie, “You’ve Got Mail,” and you had absolutely no earthly idea what they were talking about.  There was some tiny mailbox flag going up and down and they were typing back and forth to each other, on a screen–the likes of which you had never viewed before in your life, except on your word processor.  The major difference was that someone else could read it-via cyberspace; there was a connection.

AOL has changed over the many years.  You enjoyed the earlier format much better; it was simpler and to the point.  But you go, AOL.  Congratulations for being one of the first….and last.  And long may your little mailbox flag wave.



A freelance writer who revels in the 1970's...and today. Thoughts on being a baby baby boomer and empty nester. Welcome to the Saturday evening porch.
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165 Responses to AOL= (any) (old) (lady)

  1. ryoko861 says:

    I have one friend with an AOL addy. She’s the only person I know who still uses AOL. I don’t remember why I stopped using them. Maybe my son told me Firefox was better. And to get a gmail addy. I already had MSN addy’s and a Yahoo.
    I haven’t used IM in over 15 years. I don’t even IM, not even on Facebook. It’s more for the younger generation. I do text though.
    Yes, AOL was the pioneer of all this internet proliferation.

  2. Tori Nelson says:

    i had an AOL account. At the time the name prettygurly seemed like a smart idea 🙂
    I say go on with your bad self! It all works the same !

  3. We used to hate AOL when I worked in a call center…the very important e-mails we sent about the customer’s cruise would end up in their spam file! Always check your junk!


  4. Leah says:

    Great post! I just switched to a gmail account from my long-time cable e-mail address. And honestly, the only reasons is because we changed our cable provier. I like what I know. I’m still learning this gmail stuff. I remember the days of dial-up and you had to chose when to use the phone or internet. How times have changed! And I love “You’ve Got Mail,” even now that it’s dated and obselete. It’s how it was.

  5. Just the other day somebody told me to send something to his aol email, and I was shocked to learn aol still exists.

  6. AOL is what it’s all about. I have yet to find “Memba Them?” featured on gmail.

  7. Oh my word… 🙂 I love your dedication to AOL. Hilarious. They should use you in their next ad campaign!

  8. Val says:

    My first computer came with AOL free, but I didn’t use it and never succumbed to it later either. I do still know a few people who use it. I’ve got a gmail account and haven’t got to grips with it and I also tend to forget I have it. But one day I might switch over to it as my current one’s very glitchy in places. In the few years I’ve had gmail, I’ve only ever had ONE item of spam!

    By the way, ‘addy’ is short for ‘address’.

  9. I love your post! This post reflects on a lighter part of life, that actually can be taken deep down inside of us.

  10. katblogger says:

    AOL is old fashioned?
    Well… I’m a teenager and I have an account. Just seemed easier at the time. Hmm…

  11. I am an any old lady and proud of it. I had my account with AOL since the 90s and I am not planning to go anywhere 🙂 Thanks for sharing it and congrats on FP!

  12. tori nelson says:

    Lady, you are FRESHLY PRESSED, and I am thrilled about it 🙂

  13. Wow…two of my blogging buddies are FP’d today! Congrats, Reeling! I would like to recommend that people read this post of yours:


  14. gaycarboys says:

    have never thought of it that way. And you’re probably right. We never had AOL here but I think I get the gist.

  15. The Word Jar says:

    I do miss being greeted by “You’ve Got Mail!” But it was always so sad when you didn’t have mail and the welcome screen just silently opened.

    I, too, have a gmail address (“the thing” to have, right?) but I never check it either. That’s the address I give to people/stores/random entities who demand my email address but to whom I don’t want to give my real one. I know there’s nothing good in that inbox.

    Thanks for the trip down my memory lane! And congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  16. I just saw You’ve Got Mail on cable the other day, and I was thinking to myself how much society has changed in just a brief few years…the sound is almost obsolete now!

    Fun post,


  17. I wonder if hotmail will be the future aol? My first account was with hotmail, and still have it … going on 13 years. I think I’ve aged myself now!

  18. I still have a hotmail account that I use much more than my gmail account(s) and people act like I’m a dinosaur!

  19. huffygirl says:

    My mom used Compuserve for years – AOL’s early competitor, which was later bought by AOL. It was clunky and hard to use, so I finally switched her over to Comcast. Despite the fact that Comcast had a nice clear screen for email with intuitive buttons and icons, she could never get the hang of it. Guess I should have left it alone; my idea of progress was not the same as an 85-year-olds.
    Congrat on being FP’s BTW.

  20. Hmm, where does yahoo fit in all this. I guess it’s antiquated too.

  21. the worst is a hotmail account! just awful!

  22. Angec2011 says:

    Good for you still having an AOL address, I remember having one, I remember the film and after seeing the said film “You’ve got mail” I was proud to say I had an AOL email, they were my supplier, and the only real reason I actually abandoned AOL was i stopped using them as my supplier and thought my email had gone with them and switched to hotmail.

    On the question of AOL how many still use ICQ? I so remember that and gained so many friends, could chat for 2 long hours in the day on AOL or ICQ or even both whilst my son napped, this was some 13 years ago now, I barely use chat, its FB/Twitter and hotmail emails, gmail is for all the junk i subscribe to.

  23. You’ve Got Mail is seriously one of my favorite movies of all time. I don’t think many 21 year old males can say that. Anyway, great post… the picture brought me here 🙂 Thanks!

  24. Steve says:

    It’s Arianna On Line now.

  25. Lindsay says:

    I didn’t even realize AOL was still around! I used to love hearing the “You’ve Got Mail” sound. Kind of reminds me of the “uh-oh!” from the ICQ chatting days, too. They were popular around the same time, right?

  26. Thanks, Country Man’s Wife! We are NOT old!

  27. Lindsay says:

    “And long may your little mailbox flag wave.”

  28. J Roycroft says:

    AOL – One of my rules when I owned a small business – Never respond to any job applicant who sent me his or her resume via AOL.
    I still don’t take anyone who uses AOL seriously.
    Congrats on FP.

  29. HL BISE says:

    I wasn’t cool enough for AOL back then; I had her stepsister, MSN! Fun-fun read! I also perused a few of your other posts—like them, too. HOSTING THE PRINCE, especially. Congrats on FP!!!

  30. Lilee says:

    AOL. Lol. Wow. I haven’t had an AOL address since I was about 15. I’ve used GMail now for the last 2 years and it is by far the best e-mail account I’ve ever had! Not to mention you can sync the Google Calendar with your smart phone and use the Google Reader and News. I remember AOL but I didn’t realize it was still around.

  31. I love your sense of humour!

    I guess I’ve totally abandoned my AOL account – it actually came with my second laptop two years ago. Gmail is hardly spammed, but my Yahoo! mail remains my most active. I guess it just sounds cool and official when you give out a gmail account in these parts. And about Hotmail? I only check it like once in three months. lol!

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  32. lol, sheesh, I’m not that old! (I was in 6th grade when I first got on AOL…) The AOL address is nice to have around though. And some of my friends and I still use AIM. I prefer Yahoo. 🙂 Good post. I’m curious as to where you came up with the topic of AOL

  33. I don’t have an aol email address any longer, does that mean I’m not any old lady–just one very special, aol-less old lady! Love this post!

  34. I love “You’ve Got Mail” one of my favorite movies. I never had an AOL account, however I always wanted one (we didn’t subscribe to AOL, I am pleanty “old” enough to have had an AOL account), I loved the fact that it told you that you have a message. I wish I could get that as a tone for when email comes to my phone. I would like it if my phone talked to me with each incoming email. 🙂
    I started with a campus address and then went to either Yahoo or Hotmail and have stuck with that through the years… I have a couple of Gmail accounts. But my faithful has been been my Hotmail account. I guess because I don’t want to go to the trouble of switching.

  35. funny, my dad still uses AOL and his conputer needs winding up to use 🙂

  36. shenanitim says:

    Months ago, some of my friends were starting a new roller derby league. They gave me a copy of their flyer, and their email address was listed as “—” We almost died. Warning them that people would read the flyer and think its too old to check out. They argued, but later changed it to a Google account.

    This is not to say I didn’t have a AOL account back in the day. AOL was great in college, where they provided me and every other college student months (if not years) of free internet access.

    I just remember having to load up this huge box full of text every time you logged on, that’s what drove me to yahoo. I didn’t want the topics of the day, just to browse my email.

  37. Leah says:

    Okay, this is too funny! I saw the photo on Freshly Pressed and thought, I commented on a post about AOL and You’ve Got Mail recently. Then I saw it was yours! Congratulations! This was a great post too.

  38. Max Magee says:

    My brother just recently got online- maybe a year or three ago- at the urging of his customers (he’s a house painter). He got an AOL account and email address.

    I remember for a while I used AOL because of their chat rooms. They were a really fun way to virtually “pen pal” with strangers.

    I stopped using AOL when they stopped sending me free time on CD!

    At one point, I had around 30 old AOL, Compuserve, and other various CD’s scattered around my apartment as coasters. They don’t really work as coasters because all the condensation will seep out through the hole in the middle. 🙂 It’s gmail for me now.

  39. keisen says:

    I have an AOL personal address. I’m proud of it. AOL was the first useable (as in it always worked) service created.

    People left AOL when free accounts became available from other services. No one wanted to pay for AOL anymore. Eventually AOL accounts became free too, but rather too late.

    When someone tells me they’ve always had AOL, I know they’ve been online since “online” became a word. It’s a badge of honor. That person is an internet pioneer.

    When people laugh or mock AOL addresses, I always think, yep, that’s another one that’s so young they can’t remember when email was new, when uptime was a problem, when it was all so shiny and new . . . because the internet had only just been born.

    Yeah, good times!

  40. Jennifer Lockett says:

    My mother-in-law still has an AOL account. It drives me nuts, especially when sending/receiving attachments is involved. AOL often reformats attachments and she likes to tell us that we must need to ‘reprogram something’ (she knows nothing about computers). Have you seen the Oatmeal address this very issue?

  41. Maureen says:

    Until I read this (very entertaining) post, I’d totally forgotten about AOL. But now that you bring it up, yeah, I NEVER hear people give an AOL address anymore.

    But regardless of time, “You’ve Got Mail” is a wonderful movie. 🙂 They don’t make chick flicks like that anymore.

  42. Maggie says:

    I have an AOL account, a Gmail, and a Hotmail. I have to say that Gmail is my favorite, followed by AOL.

  43. ournote2self says:

    I love the movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’! It’s funny to see how far the computer has come since then. Great post. 🙂

  44. elizabeth says:

    Love this. I used to have one of those e-mail addresses that was all numbers, before you got to “choose” your e-mail address… gosh, I don’t even remember what company that was.

    I used a clip from “You’ve Got Mail” in a freshmen comp class I was teaching at a big university last fall–we were talking about the pseudo-individualism of ordering at Starbucks, how we feel we have so much power over our choices but really don’t–anyway, beside the point. The point is that I used a clip from the movie, because that’s one of the things they e-mail about, and when I pulled out the DVD, most of the students had no idea what movie it was. This year’s freshmen, of course, were barely in elementary school when it came out in the theaters.

    That certainly made me feel some age angst. And I’m young.

    • How funny! Gosh, it seems like the movie came out only yesterday…Had forgotten about the numbers you had to quickly choose otherwise they’d get used up! Part of my aol address has ’42’ in it, and when I recently gave it to place an order, the salesman said, “Oh, 1942 was a great year,” as if I’d been born then!!!! It was a great year, but I didn’t want someone to see me and then peg me as being a decade and a half older than I really am. May have to change that number someday…:)
      Thanks, Elizabeth!

  45. I have a yahoo and a gmail. I’m really not happy about the idea of getting rid of the yahoo because I have it on business cards and it’s the one I give all my friends. That makes changing addresses hard.

  46. Thulani says:

    You know, the only time I used AOL was about 8 years ago (well after it came out) when I became so disenchanted with the only cable/hi-speed internet provider in the area I chose dial-up! Plus side – as Max Magee said “free coasters with free time on them”! Not so plus side – cancelling them once another hi-speed provider came to my area. Why in the world would I want to pay AOL for a service that I would be getting for free? And no, I don’t care that I still have free time left – just cancel the thing and don’t transfer me to the 8th representative who can assist me further!! I did happyskip back flips to see them go *lol*
    Very enjoyable post 🙂

  47. SimonAndRoni says:

    My AOL account was my first account when I was a teenager, and I still use it. I always forget to check my other ones. People look at me like I have six heads all the time when I mention AOL, but I just don’t see a reason to switch.
    Just you wait, it will become so passe it’s cool again very soon.

  48. Finally Fast says:

    My AOL account was my first e-mail, this of course was after we got rid of our Tandy that ran in DOS command. While I still have the account, I rarely every use it. I moved on to AIM in college and only checked my e-mail on AOL through the web version for a few years, then I converted to gmail. Awesome post., thanks for sharing

  49. Colin L Beadon says:

    Don’t anyone dare abuse AOL. My childhood sweetheart still uses it, and we converse one way or another almost every day. Why didn’t I marry her ? That’s the wrong question. Why didn’t she marry me, who never, ever, stopped loving her ?
    That is a story somebody could write, but I hope AOL lives forever.

  50. Helen Long says:

    I remember when Aol use to send out those free cd’s to get you to sign up with them. My husband and I always through them out. We heard so many stores from our friends how AOL sucked! I never had an AOL account just Hotmail and yahoo. Oh actually I had a com cast account as well. Thanks for the post. I

  51. They must still be doing something right. I recently contacted a major jewellery company in NY and when I asked for their email – you guessed it: AOL.
    I was taken aback to be fair – but hey, why fix what’s not broken?

  52. jamiebobamie says:

    I got on AOL so early that my address is the actual name of my company. I never wanted to let it go so I didn’t switch to what ever groovy provider other people were rushing out to get.

    I gotta go feed my stegosaurus now.

  53. comingeast says:

    My son actually still has his AOL account he started with, the one we used to pay for when he started college so we could keep in touch. Now he’s grown and an attorney, and he’s never changed it. What loyalty you both have!

  54. comingeast says:

    My son actually still has his AOL account he started with, the one we used to pay for when he started college so we could keep in touch. Now he’s grown and an attorney, and he’s never changed it. What loyalty you both have! And congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! Yea!

  55. Eva McCane says:

    ahhhh, good ole AOL. i don’t miss it 🙂

  56. Actually, CompuServe was first, and widely used long before AOL popped up with their ubiquitous floppies, online ads, and disposable CDs. I’ve always hated AOL, ever since I tired it once per their “free” trial, only to find that I was automatically charged, without warning, when that free trial ran out, and I wasn’t using it anyway. I have actually never needed to pay for an email account since I had a free account through work. I’ve been using the same account for 25 years.

  57. Yusra says:

    I never had an AOL.
    I stopped using my MSN 2 years ago.
    I have a gmail that I check constantly.
    I use Google Chrome.
    I have sold my soul to Google and I’m quite happy with the arrangement.

  58. Aww… this made me nostalgic! I remeber AOL well… I had it… I loved it…and I have since then…uhm…. upgraded….lol.

  59. Did anyone else sing/hum the “AOL song” while waiting for your buddy list to pop up? You know…it matched the sound of the scratchy dialing-up…

  60. isaiah4311 says:

    I’m 19 and “you’ve got mail” is my absolute favorite movie in the world… so don’t feel old. It never fails to make me wish for a simpler time…

  61. YES I still have AOL. In this age of disconnected phone numbers, following the e-mail trails of friends, the changing of names, updating everything, I feel folks can find me. I’m not wanted so don’t need to hide, generally get along with people so don’t need to duck and cover, have moved up in the world living simply…I remember my e-mail roots.

  62. Congratulations on Freshly Pressed! YES – AOL! I’ve still got my old account. And get this – I haven’t upgraded for so long that I now have to go through Google to get there. I still use it just for e-mail. It’s funny though – I have a Facebook account and a blog and I’m still with AOL. Just sentimental I guess – hanging on to one of the first – just like some of you.

  63. I just wonder what all email all the hip young people are using now that I don’t know about yet since I have had gmail for so long. Great post.

  64. Chloe says:

    Officially I am a grandma. Im 18, but i crochet, knit, drive an old persons car, have a cat, have an AOL cat. things are not looking up for me.

  65. kuby2u says:

    I used to love AOL. I was PCA darla and I was Guide WIZ of all things. I also loved the movie!! I still have my AOL addresses. but no longer pay for it. I was horrified to learn that Technet and Huffington Post are now owned by AOL

  66. A couple of things:
    1) I love the movie You’ve Got Mail!
    2) Didn’t know AOL is considered outdated…I thought it was just another opttion to Google, Yahoo or Hotmail
    3) My preference is actually Yahoo mail—I feel it a bit simpler to it gives me the options of having multiple message windows open
    4) Still remember the little “running man” icon when my AOL messenger (old version) used to load up
    5) This now brings back memories of ICQ!

    Greatp post! Congrats on making FP! 😀

  67. Reeling, Freshly Pressed again!!! Congrats, my friend. 🙂 Loved this post the first time I read it and loved it the second time just now as I read it again. You go, girl!

  68. I run a social media company called I use AOL. Love it. Gmail is just another place to go. I like getting my news when I check email. Simple as that.

  69. shekharonline says:

    Loved this post.. In Sanskrit, we have a phrase – kalay tasmay namah, meaning everything that comes has to go… to sum up the post 🙂

  70. Bella's says:

    I love that movie

  71. rtcrita says:

    I’m with you. I hadn’t a clue what they were talking about in that movie way back then. I wasn’t as computer savvy as I am now. Now, I’m on my pc every day. We freak out around here if the connection goes off for any length of time. You’d think it was pumping our blood through our viens and keeping us alive the way we act if it’s down for more than two minutes!
    If I ever did have an AOL account, it was so darn long ago I can’t even remember. I honestly think I’ll I’ve ever had is Yahoo! Now, I have a gmail account along with the Yahoo! But I rarely use it.
    Nostalgic for AOL. Hmmm…would you have ever believed you would feel this way, way back then when you first jumped on?
    Nice read.

  72. leadinglight says:

    Is AOL for Americans only?

  73. Cherszy says:

    i never really got an AOL address although i had an impression of it. i mean, when i had my hand on my first computer, yahoo mail was dominating the net (or maybe gmail wasn’t as popular yet). but wow, now that i think about it, the AOL years are really far back in history. has it already been that long?

  74. So when I got my first computer and I used Microsoft Word and wrote a letter to my friend. I printed it out and mailed it to her. To this day she still laughs at me because I started the letter by saying, “Dear Cathy, this is my very first email….”

    Hey, I’m blonde and Greek, I thought all letters written on computers were called email….I had never heard of AOL. Wow, that was so long ago. Ok, it was just last month.

    Thanks for sharing. It was a great blog.

    Congrats on being Freshly Emailed…I mean Freshly Pressed.



  75. haha, this is so funny!

    actually watched you’ve got mail the other day again.

    i always wanted an aol account, but it was not to be.. not here in south africa, hehe.

  76. LFA says:

    Cute blog. I guess this shows that we are really “living large” to be able to “dish” about which email address is “cool” verses one that “really rules.” My students can even tell you which cell phone provider “rocks, ” is “on deck” and/or “for the old foggy generation.” Taking their cell phones from them in class (even worse now with internet) is akin to taking an heirloom. “I will just die without my cell phone! Please, please, I’ll come for detention, just please don’t take my WWC!” (World Wide Connect.) Your blog has movie making potential. Or as my students would say “would rule the C-scene!” (Cinema.)

  77. Oh I love it! Gone are the days of the lady uttering her ‘Welcome to AOL’ as you sign in (if the dial in and traffic allow). My parents are still proud owners of the old AOL accounts and I wish mine back in the same way that the young-uns desire my 1990’s now ‘retro’ clothing…. and I’m only 25!


  78. sittingpugs says:

    Another point worth pondering: how many people still view their AOL account through Internet Explorer? ^_^

  79. Dads Taxi says:

    My wife’s only email is her old email. She refuses to move to Gmail, comcast or anything else.. Her comfort zone is good old “You’ve got mail” AOL mail!

  80. Taylor says:

    Aww, I love You’ve Got Mail. It probably boosted AOL’s business quite a bit, too.

    While I used AIM in college everyday, I never used AOL’s email for anything but a dummy email address for things like insurance quotes and such.

    I have both Hotmail and Gmail now, and Hotmail is hands-down my favorite. Once I set my spam filters, I’ve never had any issues with it. Now that Hotmail is part of Windows Live, it’s even better.

  81. Ed Williams says:

    One of the original AOLers here. I remember waiting for the “squalking and screeching” modem noises that would serve as a prelude to that voice I fell in love with… “You’ve Got Mail!”

  82. John says:

    I will say that, after Sleepless in Seattle, this movie charmed my wife and I very much. Precisely because it was an updating of the 1930’s B/W film, ‘The Shop around the Corner’ with Jimmy Stewart. And because my wife and I met via a ‘lonely hearts club ad’ placed in a newspaper in a distant city, that I happened to pick up on a visit. So, any re-iteration of that lovely story (Judy Garland and Van Johnson did a musical version of it, too) means a great deal to us, even after twenty years of marriage…. and yes, we both still have AOL addresses. I didn’t know such a simple, necessary, non-physical technology could be ‘dated’ – oh, the shallowness of youth…..

    • Sorry guys! Having technical issues with replies to comments. But John, so love hearing this story! Exactly–‘The Shop Around the Corner.’ And my husband and I were just talking about all of the great Nora Ephron films including “Sleepless in Seattle,” plus so many more. So thank you for sharing!

  83. pihu says:

    your post is too good. Loved reading

  84. tonirigs says:

    Yes I love the Movie Sleepless in Seattle also, the lady was truly beautiful, it left me with deep impressions.

  85. zoraisme says:

    I remember when my mom used to use AOL, but then I talked some sense into her, ;-D.

  86. Hi there,
    I love your post and thank you for sharing. Over here in Australia its somewhat different with the mailboxes here but AOL is still in affect in ‘Cyberspace’ – somewhere. It has a most profound affect as I send plenty of emails globally either for business or personal.
    Keep up the great posts and love to see more..!

    BTW – love your blog.

    Kindest, Ezzy

  87. realanonymousgirl2011 says:

    I started with AOL but other email was cheaper. What does that service cost nowadays?

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