Remembering The Absolute Monstrosity That Was MSN MeSsEnGeR

We’ve teamed up with Medibank to help you avoid human interaction like it’s high school. The bot will help you better understand why you might need private health insurance, so you don’t have to scratch your head + wonder.

MSN Messenger was the root of all that is evil.

Just like Facebook, Instagram and whatnot today, everyone who was anyone was on MSN in the early 00s. Not being part of the cult trend was like being in the Mathletes at North Shore High: social suicide

In what was phenomenal news to Hotmail’s database at the time, the whole thing started innocently enough with an email exchange. You remember. 

Whether you were more of a Bytchy_Babe or SurferBoy_69, once added into the online realm of connectedness you stepped into virtual hell on earth. And looking at our lives now and how we operate, it’s something that has shaped our interactions from then on in.

I don’t mean “hell” in the way that “that’s fucked” means “that’s amazing” in uncouth Aussie lingo. It was downright trouble wrapped up in a pretty “Add me!” bow. It could very well be to blame for many social inadequacies we face today, such as avoiding human interaction at all costs, letting your DP be the make or break of you or feeling tingly over a glowing list of all your friends online at, oh my god, the exact same time as you.

Basically, the very same behavioural actions we’ve been so comfortable blaming Facebook for.

Why have so many of us turned a blind eye to how MSN really screwed us up in the long run? It shut up shop for good a couple of years back, so like most things that die or that we reflect on, we tend to look at the device as anything but the true monstrosity it really was.

Think of it of like Big Brother. No one actually liked that show while it was on (or the last few instalments anyway) but now that it’s gone we’re all, “Omg how good was that show” and “Where are they now?” You shouldn’t pretend you liked something just because it’s over. Did your last terminated relationship teach you nothing?

I could be wrong though. Maybe there was actually lots to like about MSN. It did teach us a lot of life skills, really, including but not limited to, subtext through emo lyrics as usernames. °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ I’m SoRrY I CaN’T Be PeRfEcT °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸

Some other learnings?

It taught us how to tune the babes and how to cope with rejection.

It taught us savagery.

  It taught us how to talk about our ~feelings~ but avoid them IRL.

  It taught us impatience….

  … And that good things come to those who wait.

  It taught us how to multitask.

  It taught us the meaning of true friendship. (We thought MySpace‘s Top 8 was bad.) 

It taught us how to be noticed.

And how to be stealth.

But more than anything, it taught us how to live our lives through something other than, you know, our lives. We hear all this hoo-ha on the daily about how we’re all living through our devices and need to stop and enjoy our surroundings, and thinking back, it was MSN when this behavioural change really took shape.

This was a time before Facebook – heck, before MySpace even – and it was creeping into our lives at the same times we’d chew up our $30 credit on our new Playboy-covered 3315s. It was rare to elaborate within our given chat windows at recess or lunch – we were more inclined to continue where we left off the following night. What wasn’t rare, however, was to be asked out or tactlessly broken up with (romantically or platonically) via a MSN chat. And we wonder why dating in the digital age is so hard (but look, that’s a story for another platform, probably Cosmo).

It was a breeding ground for bitching, ditching and consequent avoiding. 

It was also really flipping addictive – and the first instance of “staying connected” we were really hooked on. We were on that thing every bloody night. Doesn’t seem like much compared to how often we stay digitally connected these days, but in terms of huge chunks of our teenage years, it was a biggie and definitely started a trend.
Tbh it’s no wonder we’re so messed up as a generation. 

If you reckon MSN has cooked up your own distaste for human interaction, you can use Medibank‘s new bot to find out about Health Insurance without having to actually, you know, pick up the phone and talk to someone. That being said, the person on the other end doesn’t feel like a sterile computer device, and has a weird way of making you feel like they’re one of us with its personified lingo (seriously, go on and ask them why the fuck you need health insurance). It’s worth a go for that experience alone. Check it HERE.

In the meanwhile, get your ears around this. Nostalgia ensues. 

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