Choosing a dating site username

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They were, to me, the pseudonym equivalent of a cheesy pickup line.

Much more appealing were earnest self-depictions or vague, consciously nonsensical noun mish-mashes.

My first, chosen for a dial-up Compu Serve account, was Pool Princess6030, a blatant ripoff of my BFF's moniker, sport2040.

But I’ve since become a more deliberate person (read: adult human) and tend to think my usernames align with my personality.

I don’t attribute this to an alignment of stars, to the mercy of the web gods and goddesses, or even to OKC’s algorithm, which supposedly uses questions such as “What’s worse, book burning or flag burning? Instead, I chalk up my positive online dating experiences -- which, with the exception of a brazen date who rudely shushed fellow theatergoers (referred to amongst my friends henceforth as “the shusher”), has been without horror stories -- to my careful evaluation of a potential match’s username before arranging a date.

Because it draws on a smallish sample size, the study is neither comprehensive nor definitive.This includes subbing in "1"s for "i"s, but also riffs on the AOL chatroom trope of suffixing a username with "4u".Although 53 percent of usernames in Herring's survey included a number, very few of the numbers seemed to have personal meaning.“Moreover, the kinds of attributes they mention differ from those mentioned by men.” While "cuddly," "silly," "sweet," and "faithful" were all used in the women’s profiles she surveyed, men gravitated towards "sexy," "cool," "mellow," and "great." According to Herring's survey, usernames on OKCupid are an average of 10.5 characters.She compared this with the number of characters in usernames from Internet Relay Chat logs she's saved from 1999 -- names on that site were an average of 6.6 characters.

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