When my family first signed up for AOL, I remember spending hours trying to figure out the perfect name. I didn’t just want to be RobertWollner@AOL.com. I needed something great, something funny. I needed my middle school friends to think I was cool. So, with much thought and consideration, I announced myself to the world as TazDevilGA@aol.com
When Hotmail came around, I decided that Looney Tunes was just so 6th grade and I needed something more topical and clever. Having just seen National Lampoon’s Vacation, I thought WollyWorld would be perfect – a brilliant play on the Wally World theme park and my last name. I wasn’t the only one who had that clever idea, though. I guess Chevy Chase was still in vogue in the mid-90s and someone else had chosen to misspell the theme park. So I settled on email@example.com.
Five years later, when Gmail launched, the timing was perfect. Since I was just out of school, I needed a handle that was far more professional. Luckily, I was early enough to snag firstname.lastname@example.org, much to the chagrin of Richard Wollner.
I imagine I’m not the only one whose email addresses – second identities, really – have taken a similar journey. Those of us in our 20s and 30s likely share similar stories. We started with a fun name in middle school (JK23ACE, SugaBaby, Viper, Harv, PSMEE, McMacBob, etc) on AOL, moved to Yahoo or Hotmail, and then slowly shifted to Gmail and became our first and last name or some derivation of that. As we have evolved and grown, so have our email names and destinations. While our names may remain, our destinations are bound to keep changing.
So what’s your story? How have your email names changed over the years?