What’s in a Twitter Username

In the Boring But A Little Relevant department, yesterday, I changed my Twitter username. 

I used to be @josephdarnell and I was forever annoyed that people didn’t call me Joseph, so I gave up on my full name. I went to @_joedarnell more than a year ago.

But over the last few months, I was discontent with the underscore that I had tacked on. Options like @joedarnell were already taken, and adding unnecessary characters, whether they’re underscores, letters or numbers, grates on my nerves. “Joe Darnell” is not my codename, but an underscore at the beginning of it feels like it turns my name into a codename — stripped of some of my identity and replaced with an awkward Internet naming convention.

I attempted to use other names that were consistent with my real name, like:

  • @joedarnell
  • @jdarnell
  • @joed

Each one is already in use. Left with few alternatives that stick with my real name, I chose to go with @jcsdarnell.

If it were possible, I would’ve chosen @jcsd, but Twitter changed their rules long ago so that four-character usernames are no longer optional (I just don’t understand that kind of Twitter decision-making nonsense). 

@jcsdarnell is my initials and last name together, which represent Joseph Carl Sherman Darnell.

Not surprisingly, my name change caused a little bewilderment from my friends. Worried that I was making it harder for people to find me online, they rightfully criticized my decision to use my initials.

I agree with everyone that if the name of the game is Make Your Username Super Easy For People To Recall, then @jcsdarnell is horrible. But my name isn’t about what’s ultimately convenient for the public, now, is it? It’s my name. I’m kinda limited and stuck with my individuality in my own eccentric way, and I’d rather use an authentic naming convention than a Twitter-based hampered one.