Chat Moments Every Arab 90s Kid Encountered

By Sarah Alblowi 

BBM announced it’s closing down on the 31st of May and we’re legit upset!

What better way to grieve over this bad news than look back at the cringe-worthy actions we did as the first generation on social media. Were you old enough to encounter a “social” life before Facebook and got the best of both worlds? Now that we have Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter, we forget how far we’ve come. Unlike the West, growing up, Arabs didn’t have the luxury of texting bundles, so we had to get crafty with social media.

We’ve listed chat moments in chronological order during the 2000s, from asking your mom to get off the phone so you can go online to using Bluetooth to send pictures, here’s how we’ve evolved!


Via Cnet

No other platform will ever be as iconic! Playing your favorite track while others visiting your profile. Never forget the struggle of picking your top 8! The gossip was real, news spread quickly, and the pictures were cringe-worthy; only cool kids were on MySpace.


Via ignitesocialmedia

The early 2000s was an era of come and go platforms; this was one of them. The massive platform had its shine; it was a virtual world ready to be explored. Right after MySpace, this was where everyone used to hang out.

Yahoo messenger

Via Engadget

The chat room was hot before Facebook and served us iconic moments. After serving 20 years, Yahoo messenger shut down in 2018, feel old yet?

Being too young for Facebook

Via Businessinsider

Founded in 2004, the platform gained most popularity by 2009. Most of our generation were pre-teens posting on each other’s walls. I guarantee most of us lied about our age at this time.

The beginning of the subtweets

Via Twitter

Being popular on Twitter this time meant you had a smart mouth and a lot to say. People projected their inner politicians, sharing their two cents, while respect and credibility were valued by the number of followers. The subtweet was born and shadier than ever.

Waiting all day to get home and log in


Via manueldebord.essec

After spending hours at school, we rushed to the computer as soon as we got back home. Did you ever log in and out a few times to get someone’s attention? Or thought you were so badass signing in with a certain status like busy or away when you weren’t any of the two?

MSN Emoticons

Via digitalspy

The true birth of emojis dates back to the era of MSN!

Being Nudged



Via digitalspy

These virtual earthquakes used to get someone’s attention when they took too long to reply. It came with a specific sound alert and popped up in your face.

tH0$E TAckky Pers0o0o0nal N@mes ;*


Via newstatesman

This emoji mess proved you were hot on the list. The more, the better, and people took time to come up with the ‘baddest’ personal names. Sometimes, it used to get hard to comprehend who you’re even talking to.

Trading Emojis

Via Giphy

These sparkly emojis were custom downloaded and traded like gems. The tacky creations were praised like jewels and everyone had a fair collection.

Joining accounts on eBuddy


Via malavida

This was the beginning of a new era as this platform merged multiple ones into one chat. This made people come together easier making them start to ditch old ones.


Via Twitter

Similar to a nudge, but much cooler. Welcome to the BBM era, we just got granted the luxury of carrying our social media in our pockets. A PING!!! was a button option in every chat to, again, get someone’s attention without saying anything.

BBM PIN and Barcode

Via Blog.BBM

Way before Snapchat, people took pride in their PIN codes and, woah, the bar code? This was a whole alien invaded system that had people mind blown. People started purchasing Blackberries just to be engaged in the fun of it. Unfortunately, BMM will be discontinued on May 31st, officially leaving us with lively childhood memories.


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