The dos and don’ts of choosing a screen name


By Sarah Meedel

Every traveler on the information superhighway eventually encounters the vast, nameless anonymity; without smiles and habits and clothing styles, the question of who is who in a judgment-free world leaves one with an array of possible friends and no idea where to start. The solution? The screen name.

When it comes time to choose that Internet nickname, there are a few items to remember. Keep in mind the people who might see this, including friends, strangers and even Grandma. Friends may see the humor in dubbing oneself “DrUnKwHoRe” but most likely, dear Grandma would not. With a handle such as that, one has to be prepared for the comments from total strangers: “So how many drinks does it take before I get to meet the whore?” or “I bet you’re sexy. Let’s get drunk and f%#k!” To the owner of such a screen name — beware.

Some chat rooms play host to a pervert’s playground. This is why the ignore and block options are such a blessing. So one does not automatically come off a desperate sex fiend, there are some words to avoid: whore, slut, stud, 69, player, vixen, pimp or porn star, among others. If one ends up putting one of these words in the screen name, they might have to deal with harassment.

And these identifications, like tattoos and marriages, may be temporarily wonderful but last forever. The handle you pick now might be the one you still have in 10 years. Do you really want be “PimpSlut69” in 10 years? Instead of doing what tons of other people are doing by coming off as players and skanks, why not just represent the person you really are? It is not uncommon for people to use their nickname for a screen name. This can make it easier to get the first or second pick for handle names. It also leads to originality.

If friends call you “TurtleBack” due to your amazing break-dancing, back-spinning ability, chances are that not many people are going to have that skill or nickname. If someone sees “TurtleBack” they might be intrigued and want to know the origin of the name, which can create an interesting conversation.

Other people have done combinations of their name, age, where they live, when they were born or graduated. All of these are great ideas. They give a basic impression about the person. People have taken something from their own lives and turned it into a screen name. Sometimes a view on life (“Unlucky”), a record label (“EpicGirl”), clothes they wear (“GAPjeans19”) or a favorite cartoon character (“DaffyD633”) all present choices. There are so many options to pull ideas from.

A screen name is the first impression made on the in the Internet, why not make it a good one?


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