My first encounter with IM was through ICQ. Over 10 years ago, the folks I chatted with on IRC encouraged me to try ICQ, and since then I’ve almost always had an IM client of some kind open.
I’ve since expanded to AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk. But I kept an ICQ account open and active. Until now.
For the past year, I’ve gotten more and more bogus friend requests and spam on ICQ. Every single friend request has been in a foreign language, and encouraged me to check out a “100% free!!” site of some kind (the most recent purported to be for a child porn site). Every non-spam contact attempt (a small percentage, mind you) has been from people messaging random ICQ numbers (the last one, after greeting me, asked “Who are you?”). I have not received a single legitimate ICQ message or contact request in the past year.
So, I’m leaving ICQ. I don’t like to close off a method of communication, but since there’s been no legitimate communication through it, I feel justified in doing so.
A shame to see a useful service become so overrun with the equivalent of empty line noise.