Believing someone was offline only to find out they'd just been chatting to your bezzie meant just one thing – you'd been blocked. Nothing could quite match the excitement of opening up a chat window to message your secret (not so secret, everyone knew) crush, only to see those three magical words that gave you hope that they actually liked you too – "Contact is typing…" Eek. We still don't know and are haunted to this day by the mystery.15.
Asking for their MSN name, however, was perfectly acceptable and in no way implied how much you were secretly crushing on them.
It was less invasive despite letting you talk to them more and get to know things – like their favourite songs – simply by snooping on their ever changing statuses.7.
Doing the rounds under their far more formal name of emoticons, they quickly formed the bulk of your conversations and statuses, often transforming entire lines of chat into unintelligible hieroglyphics the Ancient Egyptians would have been proud of.
If emoji weren't enough, you could throw down full page animated "winks" that took over the conversation with dancing pigs and gurning faces – that's the height of technology, people.10.
You could game it to prompt your crush into talking with you.