The other day, Marci and were talking (INSTEAD OF WORKING, take that Jane Pratt!) and somehow we stumbled onto the topic of our first Internet screennames. Since the lion's share of the xoJane staff is in our 30s, we were mostly precocious (read: annoying) teenagers by the time we were in the position to use the Internet with any regularity.
For Marci, this manifested in the screenname "MavisInkslinger." She explains: "Mavis is a type of songbird, and inkslinger is a synonym for writer that only teenagers who take themselves obnoxiously seriously would ever consider using. My parents thought it was very clever."
For my part, the first screenname I can remember using with any regularity was "glittervixen." Back in those days, you could more readily change your screennames, so I used a lot of different ones, all containing the word vixen. I was every kind of vixen you can imagine. In retrospect, I guess I still kind of like that word.
I eventually graduated to "misanthropegirl" which I used throughout high school and college and into young adulthood, despite being in no way a misanthrope. In fact, I'm downright smiley. I have resting friendly face. People come up and talk to me all the time and I'm happy to chat as long as they're not weird dudes who wanna lick my tattoos.
My email is just my name now, so the only screennames I've used in recent years are for online dating, where I went with boobsandtattoos. Perhaps courting the wrong kind of attention, but hey, it worked. I also briefly considered TitsandTats.
After doubling over in laughter about MavisInkslinger for awhile, I asked the rest of the xogang for their first screennames:
Courtney: My first screename was WordyBirdy93 because I had two pet cockatiels, and my mom came up with it for me.
Lesley: I had SO MANY. A really early one was EskimoSpy, which is an MST3K reference. Later they got all Wicca-flavored and I was SpeakStone for awhile. I forget a lot of them.
s.e.: I was "wenched," because of course I was.
Pia: I've only ever had 2, and I still use one. The other (first) one was peepsinc, because "peeps" is the closest thing I've ever had to a nickname, and I felt AOL meant I should fake incorporate myself??? *sigh*
Rachel: I was LilSmiley which is embarrassing, but not as embarrassing as the fact that one time a friend of mine made a screen name that we "shared" (did anyone else do that with a BFF?) and it was jBabyrLover because she had a crush on a boy whose name started with R and I had a crush on a boy whose name started with J......... tweens, man.
Louise: DflyinNun on AIM. Because that TV show was funny, and I was kind of obsessed with nuns? Not for any religious reasons, but because I liked the idea of them flying around solving problems and fighting crime. I don't know what my deal was.
Somer: Mine was aphelion4 -- aphelion because it means the point in a planet's orbit furthest from the sun (exclusively listened to Nine Inch Nails during my early 20s and did a lot of LiveJournal-ing, if that helps explain things), and I appended a random number because some jerk/similarly dark soul had already taken the name "aphelion" on ICQ or whatever thing I was using at the time.
Hannah: melted_ice7, I thought it sounded very ... "cool."
Alison: Oh man. I was "VioletRocket," named after a very cute pug I once knew. I kind of don't hate it and think I might bring it back!
Laura: My first AIM name was NesbisMania, because I misspelled "Mentos" (the candy/mints) as "Nesbis" once in an email and then randomly liked the way it sounded (?????). Oh and I'm a candy freak so of course I was talking about Mentos, of all things, in an email.
I just asked my boyfriend and his first screenname was "barfvader," which pisses me off because it's actually pretty funny. Share your shame in the comments!