What’s in a Name?

A friend of mine messaged me this morning with a link to a fascinating read from the International Journal of Internet Science.  The article is entitled “What’s in a Screen Name? Attractiveness of Different Types of Screen Names Used by Online Daters.”  Right up our alley, right?

Authors Whitty and Buchanan write that “one arena in which it is very important for people to make a good first impression is online dating.”  In one experiment, they selected 500 names from a popular online dating site and ranked them into the categories below.  Then they randomly selected 5 screen names to fit into each category.  (see chart, which I have taken from the article)


They then did an online survey to test the allure of these screen names.

The results?  Here are the top ranking ones:


Do you agree?  Would you rather date someone whose screen name is “Fun2bwith” versus “cutie” or “welleducated”?  I think there is a lot of validity to this experiment.  I know I’d like to be with someone who is fun versus someone who thinks they’re cute, though I will say that well educated is high on my list too.  But I’m often criticized for that from friends who say just because someone has a PhD in physics doesn’t mean they have a stitch of social skills (just a generalization, of course, and I don’t mean to offend the three, maybe four, super-social mathemeticians out there.)

So, what am I taking away from this paper?  That I need to try to create a profile name involving how fun I am to be around!


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