February 28, 2008

What Does Your Screen Name Say About You?

Posted in On the Job tagged , , at 10:42 pm by Lindsay

I just started work on a new show produced by a different production company from the last show I was on.  As a result, I’m interacting with a whole new group of people.  A new staff list is being generated and I’m being asked for my contact information quite frequently.  I’m scared one of these times someone’s going to ask for my instant messenger screen name.  We use IM within our department quite a bit, but if anyone outside my department asks for my screen name, I’ll probably turn several shades of red. 

I’m not ashamed of my screenname, it just isn’t very, well, professional.  Its only previous use has been personal conversations with my friends and family.  I think I made it up in 10th grade.  To give you a clue, part of it comes from my favorite Disney princess.  Nothing to make you seem younger in the workplace like a fairy tale monkier. 

I began brainstorming a list of possible new screennames, but haven’t been able to settle on one yet.  I came up with one I liked, but it included a French city and I want one that’s easy to spell, so when I verbally tell people they don’t have to ask how to spell it multiple times.  Then I had trouble walking the fine line between “mature” and “bland”.  I want one that says something about my personality, but not one that’s too silly or seemingly immature.  I came up with some based on some of my favorite films, but “HighSociety” might give co-workers the wrong impression about my humility, “ItHappenedOneNight” sounds a little sketchy if you don’t know it’s 1934’s Best Picture.  I thought “HisGirlFriday” would be cute and snappy, but it was already taken. 

As I struggled to come up with a viable choice, I realized just how many things should be considered when coming up with a screenname, or an email address for that matter, especially when it’s going to be used in the workplace.  At first it seems silly to read so much into something as simple as a screenname, but when I realized that several people in the production company will get a copy of the staff list with my screen name before they ever meet me, it became much more important to give the right first impression and make sure what my screenname says about me is truly how I want to present myself in the workplace.

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1 Comment »

  1. as if said,

    Why not just use your work email address as your screen name? That’s what I did for aol instant messenger to spare reactions from, “that’s so girly and cute” to “that sounds pornographic.”


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