03/20/2012 09:05 am ET

Social Media Screen Names: What Yours Says About You

About the author: Rebecca is a senior at Walter Payton College Prep. She’s a teen reporter for The Mash, a weekly teen publication distributed to Chicagoland high schools.

Today’s hottest social media sites, such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, allow their users to come up with clever usernames to identify and brand their content. While most people use their full name if it’s available, it’s always fun to come up with an original handle that will be memorable.

Ask yourself: What do you want people to know about you? Find a way to incorporate your main purpose clearly, concisely and cleverly. Here are some tips to help you make the coolest and cutest name in cyberspace.

Less is more

Try to avoid a name with more than 20 characters. Keep it simple! The more complicated the name, the less likely it is that it will be remembered correctly. Also, sites like Twitter rely on brevity, and a long handle cuts into your already tiny 140-character limit!


It’s clever to use a common expression utilizing your name or a part of your name. For example, UFC fighter Eliot Marshall’s Twitter handle is @FireMarshall205.

Rhyme time

Almost any first name, last name or a part of one of the two can rhyme with something. Alex Goligoski of the Dallas Stars pokes fun at his last name with his handle @gollygoose33.


Avoid a name followed by numbers that indicate your age, birthday or graduation date. It screams AIM (so 2007), making it juvenile and unoriginal.

Follow Rebecca @AboveTheLawson!