The other day I was at a party where I hardly knew anyone. Somebody asked somebody else if they used ICQ back in the day and I had the chance to reply by reciting my ICQ number without even having to think about it for second. It was an emotional moment of newfound friendship for all of us there.
It’s fascinating how ICQ has been a formative product for a non-trivially sized subset of people. Not only do we remember those very unintuitive numbers, we’re also able to invoke a perfect memory if not rendition of the new message sound. Hearing it makes me feel things.
ICQ is technically still around even though it has lost all of its former relevance. What remains is a good feeling about the couple of years it helped us stay connected to those important to us. That’s plenty.