Friday, January 17, 2014

Choosing a Username: What Does Your Username Say About You?

Since I heard about Mumsnet a few weeks ago I’ve been skirting along the edges trying to decide if I was going to dive in. I’m a mom, I’m a writer and I’m a mom who writes about Momming; so why not join a network?

I spent longer than I planned coming up with a snazzy user name that wasn’t already taken.  I thought I would make up one that captured my many roles: MotherWriterPhDtobe. But I don’t like guess work: will readers pause where I want them to pause? Will they recognize my play on words or will they think what I think when I see usernames with acronyms, creatively spelled (ok, misspelled) ones or names that challenge me to multiply, subtract and divide to add meaning to them?

I settled on battlefelton; a version of my last name.

After I selected it I thought: why didn’t I capitalize it? Why didn’t I at the very least hyphenate it like I do in life?

What does a lower case “b” and a run-on name say about me?
I thought about creating another account, one with Battle-Felton capitalized and hyphenated in its glory. I’m proud of my name and of who I represent.

But lowercased and unhyphenated, the more subtle, watered down version, is actually just fine.

To read me is to know me.

There are days I rush through life noting everything and everyone in it; cherishing encounters, counting blessings and feeling extremely fortunate. There are days I seem almost immobile—except that I’ve moved my family to the UK in my pursuit of a PhD and a story I want to see in print.

At the end of the day, I’m more than my username, titles, roles.

Next time I choose a username, if it isn’t already taken, I’ll choose “Me” and if it is taken, I’ll reflect, ponder and ultimately select a version that still shows who I am. 


  1. Amen ..
    I often caught myself mulling over certain usernames, thinking why people chose them?

    I thought that was crazy of me, but well ... :)

    1. Hadeel,

      You definitely aren't the only one who analyzes usernames, smiles. I probably spend far more time doing it than I should.


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