AOL: Fresh and Hip or Obsolete?


In the hectic lifestyle of today’s world, technology is everywhere! From Cellphones, Tablets, Computers, Lasers, to the other side of the techno world such as TV’s, Headsets, and Gaming Systems. A majority of every day consumers may find that one of the simpler devices to use are emails systems such as Gmail, Outlook Express, and Yahoo. However, when the topic comes out about AOL, the question then becomes is it still fresh and hip or obsolete? Since most of today’s populace is all about the “in factor” of products, especially when it comes to technology, it’s a good inquiry to make. Firstly, what is AOL? AOL is one of the world’s mass media corporation’s that is based out of New York. Statistically, it was one of the best and fastest created computer programs that ran right up there with Yahoo, Hotmail/MSN, and EarthLink. Just about all over the web were people who held an account with at least one, if not all, of these programs and services, but at the time AOL seemed to be more popular. It ran off Roadrunner High Speed Internet back in the day, this being before BrightHouse came along. Statistically, consumers were using AOL more than Yahoo, Hotmail, and EarthLink, making use of its messenger program called AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). Many a time over cyberspace, someone spoke to another person making the inquiry of whether or not that person had AIM at that time and, if they did, the exchange of the AIM handles was given. AIM seemed to be the first text messaging around before it became more associated with cell phones.

Television commercials are flooded with information, propaganda, sales, etc. AOL used to be all over the commercials and one of the symbols that made it popular was the little yellow, running man. If one saw this, it was automatically recognized as being connected to AOL. Nowadays, it’s more likely to hear everything about Yahoo, Google, and Hotmail (which has now turned into Outlook Express). So again, the question is whether or not AOL is still fresh and hip or has it become obsolete? To further sink the question in to the mesh of the mind, one must compare notes. Just about every few weeks there’s something new happening with Google. For example, Google Search is one of the fastest leading search engines inside the internet world today. If you type in the “latest updates about google” into any type of search engine (Bing, Yahoo, Hotmail, Wikipedia, etc.) information about how it’s more user-friendly, how much the speed has increased, how the performance of the software has improved, and more is likely to come up in charts or perhaps, news articles. Same thing happens when searching for more updated technology like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

AOL: Fresh and  hip or obsolete? That is the question of the hour. This question can almost be easily answered by the evidence that hardly anyone uses the AOL system anymore. Commercials about it don’t seem to be around much anymore in this year of 2014. Actually, AOL started to decrease in recognition in the early 2000’s. AOL is more of an antique system now. It seems soon to be in the graveyard of obsolete programs right along with names such as MySpace, Hi5, Tagged, & ICQ. Even though these programs are hardly ever used anymore does not mean that they aren’t used at all. Every now and then, especially on servers like MySpace, there will be noticeable improvements that have been made but once again, it doesn’t seem as though many people use it anymore. The new MySpace is Facebook just as the new AOL would probably be Yahoo or Bing. Many of the back in the day users of AOL continue to still use the system, going along with the saying “If it’s not broken, then why fix it”. But, one will not hear of another asking for their AIM handle as often as asking about Facebook, one will not bring up how fast Roadrunner was for that was taken over by Bright House, and the little yellow running man just isn’t being seen as much anymore. So, in answer to the question, AOL looks as though it is an obsolete program hung up in the museum of outdated systems.

By Isis E. Stevens


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