Underscores in Ye Old Twitter Handle

Al underscore GoreUnderscores in a Twitter Handle are an abomination! Think about that person who has a really obnoxious spelling of their first name. Instead of the traditional Andrew or Brian, it’s Andriu or Briyane, which appears as if a two year old threw additional letters into the name to get a higher Scrabble point score.  This is exactly what a twitter handle with an underscore looks like for people that want to send you a tweet or direct message. It’s odd, confusing, and easy to misspell.

Why is this?

First and foremost, Twitter avoids the underscore in Twitter searches. If you want to be found and network, leave it out!

Second, it’s difficult to remember that a person has an underscore in their name. I’m sure that there is some fact that backs up our lack of cognitive recognition for the underscore. If it acts as a space in the middle, it’s difficult to remember. If it’s located in a bizarre area, it’ll be forgotten.

Third, it’s incredibly difficult to enter an underscore on a cell phone (smart and the antiquated T9 phones). I’m lazy, I know, but if I can’t fill a Twitter name in 3 seconds with a limited amount of keyboard switches, I’m not sending you a message in the first place. If you can’t spell it out on a computer keyboard without holding Shift, stay away from it.

Fourth, an underscore just makes your name longer. I have a very precious amount of characters to write you a message (140). Most people use underscores as a space between their first/last name: in my case, @Andrew_Clinkman. This is a ridiculous waste of characters. Instead, follow the first letter last name rule: @aclinkman. Or, if that’s taken and for an easier Twitter time, @aclink. If that’s taken, throw a few numbers on, change it to @theclink, but keep it close to your own name to distinguish your name. A good idea is to keep your account to 5 syllables or less.

Fifth, an underscore makes your account look juvenile. Don’t hate the messenger; there are countless articles and books with hate for underscores. In fact, a quick look through the top Twitter accounts shows a serious lack of underscore users.

Getting rid of that underscore is such an easy task that will make other twitter users like you more.

What to do?

Log on -> Go to settings -> Select the box next to Username (where your current account is) -> Type in an updated username ->When prompted, enter your current password and save changes -> Done!

If you are worried that your friends aren’t going to find you in the future when tweeting at you, then be sure to tweet a message saying that you changed your account. Without underscores, go out into the Twitter world and meet some new people.

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4 thoughts on “Underscores in Ye Old Twitter Handle

  1. This post has inspired me to write a post about choosing appropriate Twitter handles!

    I do not have an underscore in my handle, however my Twitter handle does not mean to me what it means to most people.

    My handle is @fatkine10. I created it because my first and middle name are Fatou Kiné (though I go by Kiné) and half of my family calls me Fat Kiné for short. But that is in Senegal, West Africa. Here in the US, neither fat or kine are perceived as proper names…

    What do you think? Does @fatkine10 look “non-professional?” I have kept it all this time because I do see a wide range of handles, some which are more spunky, and in the end I have reasoned that the content of my tweets will receive a more wieghted judgment than the latter.

    • Interesting question!

      Now, going purely off of impression, if I look at that account I think of what both mean in English. It’s unfortunate but I think that it may appear as a juvenile twitter handle for people that don’t know your name. The problem of understanding non-traditional english names is something that i’m personally embarrassed of. I’m glad you gave me a kick and opened my eyes to the name

      That being said, if you want your account to be more professional looking for uncultured people such as myself, I would go with @fatoukine and try to minimize numbers if possible. @fatoukine looks much more like a name (in my eyes) than @fatkine10

      I’m looking forward to your post!

      • Thank you, I really appreciate the feedback. And for some reason I did not realize that I can change my handle without changing my account. I think I may go ahead and make the change at some point in the near future!

  2. Is my Twitter Handle a Good Fit? « Afterglow

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