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What Your Username Says About You

A username can make or break you on the Net. So does your handle say “stud” or “dud”? Dr. Smartass has some guidelines to help you figure it out.

By (@doctorsmartass)

March 8, 2010

Got a question for Dr. Smartass? E-mail doc [at] esarcasm.com.

Dr. SmartassWe live in a time, my good readers, when a single word can sum ourselves up to millions of potential suitors. I’m talking, of course, about usernames: those unavoidable, often absurd-sounding handles we use as our identities on all kinds of Web sites.

It turns out what you choose as your username can make a massive difference, especially when it comes to online dating. From my inbox:

Dear Dr. Smartass,

I’m finally caving and setting up an online dating profile. What tips can you give me to make it work?


Jonathan, welcome to the world of digital dalliance. We’ve already covered the seven simple rules of online dating and the secret to a sexy profile picture, so we’ll turn our attention today to that ever-important username you’re about to select.

Online Dating UsernamesAn online dating site called ArrangeMeADate.com surveyed its members to see how different types of usernames affected their profile-browsing decisions. According to the study, a bad name is the biggest turn-off in virtual partner-browsing — worse even than a less-than-perfect photo.

So what are the naming no-nos? It all comes down to language: The online daters in this research were most likely to wave away guys with adjectives and other “overly descriptive language” in their handles (things, for example, like “4InchesButLooksLike5”).

“It might be tempting to give this a personal touch, but without potential suitors seeing this in the context of your personality it can come across as weird,” the site’s founder, Lexi Proud — who may or may not be a living example of a bad username herself — explains.
Bad Usernames
Specifically, the lovely Ms. Proud says words such as shy, sexy, wild, and lonely can end up typecasting you rather than pulling in potential new lovers. Words like wacky, zany, and quirky, on the other hand, make you seem like you’re trying too hard to portray yourself as unique.

Some of the worst choices cited by Proud and her gang of proud matchmakers: Sad&Lonely1, Big’n’bubbly, Sweet&Shy, XXXratedguy and Cuddle Monster. Not listed but assumed to be equally bad: G-RatedGuy and PumpAndDumper.

Descriptive words such as “‘millionaire,” not surprisingly, did not seem to be a problem. Your trusty Dr. S suspects the “descriptive language” factor all comes down to exactly what it is you are describing: the size of your wallet = OK; the size of your winkie = TMI.

The best bet, however, may be sticking with something close to your own name; identifying yourself in such a straight-forward manner can only portray you as being honest about your intentions. In my case, I went with the unassuming “DoctorAss.” (DoctorSmartass, unfortunately, was already taken.)

  In online dating, your name says a lot,
  So don’t make your choice without ample thought.
  Pick a bad name, you silly chump,
  And your empty mattress will be all you’ll hump.

Until next time,

Dr. Smartass

(Duck image: newduck.com

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