I miss MSN. Skype replacing it has been awful and somehow, years later, they still haven't incorporated the same functionality MSN had. Nowadays Discord seems to be the defacto standard, but that has a bunch of issues on its own.
Most of my early memories are of MUSHes and MUDs. Fortunately a lot of them are still up and have all their 90's-ass brand of humor and world building intact.
The Old Wild West of the Internet. Decentrilized, (mostly) unmonetized, back when every kid or wacko with an idea and some free time could create a Geocities page with a couple photos of Alicia Silverstone and call it a fanpage.
This was the first place I ever visited online back in 1994, mostly because it was installed on my girlfriend's 486SX PC. Prior to that, there were a couple of local BBS's that I visited on my old Apple IIe/c clone, but those were local (I wasn't going to pay long distance charges) and I knew most of the people there in real life. INN was the first place I visited that truly felt new and interesting, since I was able to play and communicate with people from all over the country (but most most seemed to be in California).
It was a breath of fresh air for me, since I was mostly surrounded by poor white trash and could never talk about stuff I was actually interested in, or hear perspectives from people from different walks of life. That goofy picture above turned out to be my doorway to a larger world, since it gave me a taste of possibilities available online. Within weeks, I had a CompuServe account, found out how to access newsgroups & IRC, and eventually connected to people & orgs that changed my life.
Nowhere near as successful as the famed antihero, I’m afraid. I’m a small-time con who has struck solid roommate-related financial arrangements, enjoyed a few romances until I craved the grave, and — and this one’s great — I’ve received free cheeseburgers once or twice.
...unless, like, you’re asking me if my forum handle was Tom Ripley, in which case, no, it was something utterly lame and early-teen like Jeff Nomura or Hiroshi Nomura or god only knows what else...