What I Would Tell My Former Away Message Writing, 2000s Teenage Self

Author: Michelle Ioannou, The Dating Game

I miss away messages. I really, truly do. They were the perfect way to show off what you were doing, or to be passive aggressive about your feels. As a self-proclaimed 2000s emo princess, I definitely had my fair share of the latter.

But, little did I know what my away messages really meant. Now that I’m (sort of) an adult, I can reflect on my away messages in a whole different light. As I am now older and wiser, and as I have gone through some more mature situations like being lied to big time, being told by a man that he loves me while speaking to someone else, and by actions not matching words, there are some things I’d like to tell my former self, based on my past away messages.

Away Message: No boy is ever worth your tears. And the one that is will never make you cry
What I’d tell my younger self: You will unfortunately cry over a boy. Even though you’re an extremely strong person, you will get so hurt to the point of tears. And if that happens, it’s okay. You’ll get through it.

Away Message: So wear me like a locket around my throat, I’ll weigh you down, I’ll watch you choke, You look so good in blue
What I’d tell my younger self: Congrats! You will go see Fall Out Boy for the first time at 22 years old, so that’s a plus, but they will not in fact perform Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner. Besides for that, these words still speak to me at 25 years old to be quite honest.

Away Message: “I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.” – Audrey Hepburn
What I’d tell my younger self: This one is actually true. You still want attention and affection, but more importantly you’re still always there for other people when they need you. This however is good and bad, as sometimes you have a tendency of putting other people and their feelings before what’s best for you.

Away Message: Realize real eyes realize lies.
What I’d tell my younger self: You will get lied to. More than once. But there will be that one time that’s so big it feels like it will destroy you. You will get through it, but things won’t be the same with the person who lied to you. But again, no need to be afraid, because that’s life. And you will get through.

Away Message: PUNK R0CK PRiiNCE$$
What I’d tell my younger self: You will hate yourself one day for ever typing like this. Also, with your popped collar polo shirt, you are not a punk rock princess. Oh, and you very much did not find your garage band king.

away messages

Away Message: So pissed. Don’t IM.
What I’d tell my younger self: You very much want someone to reach out to you to check in on you, you don’t want to be alone. This will also still apply a decade later in your 20s. We want, and need, people to check in on us, even when we say we don’t. Many times, that’s when we need people the most.

Away Message: If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve to see me at my best.
What I’d tell my younger self: Stay true to this. It’s in rough times and in times of obstacle that you learn who is truly there for you. Pay attention to what guys do in stressful times — times that can either build the two of you up, or tear you down. The people who are there during your worst times, the people who stay through your worst times, and the people who help get you out of your worst times, are the ones you should have in your life.

What I’d tell my younger self: Again, stop with the typing. Maybe this is why you’re still single, because a decade ago you were typing like this and sharing things like this on your away message. But yes, you will deal with your fair share of female envy, it happens to everyone. Don’t brag about it. Deal with it, and always do so by being kind and respectful. There’s a reason that that girl is with that guy instead of you.

Away Message: Because maybe, you’re gonna be the one that saves me…
What I’d tell my younger self: No, he won’t be the one that saves you, because you’re a strong independent woman that can save, and provide, for herself. Remember that. You are not a damsel in distress. You don’t need saving.

Away Message: I want to be your favorite hello, and your hardest goodbye.
What I’d tell my younger self: You’re actually horrific at goodbyes and try to avoid them any chance you get. Besides for that, this is still a pretty good standard to have while looking in a relationship — you want someone’s face to light up when they see your name on their phone or when you walk into a room, and you want someone who you’ll never have to say goodbye to.


Away messages were great back in the day. They were an outlet for us to express ourselves, let everyone know what was on our mind, and to get any critical memos out — you know, like a new screen name or that you and your crush are finally dating. There’s a lot of things I wish I had known when I was just a teenager back in the ’00s, but in a way, maybe we can all learn a little something from our past away messages.

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