I am one of that unique generation (Xenniels, as we are known) who is old enough to clearly remember a simple life before the internet, but also young enough to be able to have embraced the information superhighway in every walk of life. Very much like the elder siblings in a family, we were the ones who had to cautiously explore this brave new world, testing the boundaries and making the mistakes that the next generations would learn from.
And one of those mistakes many of us made was to come up with ludicrous and childish internet usernames and email accounts, not thinking for one minute that we would be stuck with them into our middle age. The internet seemed like a passing fad and we underestimated how much it would consume our lives forevermore. How could we know?
Playstation Allows You to Change Your PlayStation Network ID
However, PlayStation has come to the aid of anyone who cringes at their ancient PlayStation Network ID. The gaming firm has followed through on a promise to allow its users to change their PSN IDs for free, much to the relief of 40-year-olds the world over who have been known as ThongSchlong69 for the best part of two decades. If your replacement also fails to cut the mustard, you can return to your original for free or pay to choose yet another name.
It is easy to see how so many people found themselves in this position. Clearly, on getting their first PS that required an ID, they were so keen to dive into whatever version of FIFA it was back then, they gave no thought to their moniker. But as technology has advanced and you can now link up with players from around the world, having to introduce yourself as IHeartRolfHarris can tend to cause embarrassment.
Embarrassing Email Addresses
It’s not just internet usernames that can cause you humiliation. Many of my generation chose wholly inappropriate email addresses when we were younger too. This also makes sense. Email was a bit of fun, an opportunity to share the 100 Best Simpsons Quotes with your college bezzie. We didn’t realise that in years to come it would form an essential part of communication with banks, utility companies and even potential employers.
I’m a freelance radio presenter and you can always age someone based on how mortified they are at having to tell you their email address in order to claim a prize. Although it was fairly cutesy for a 16-year-old in the innocent mid-90s to claim PrincessBumblePants80@aol.com as their own, when you are a 39-year-old HR supervisor looking for a position at a major international consultancy in 2019, you might find it impedes you.
The problem is, of course, that so much important correspondence flies through our email accounts that to change the address would mean missing out on important messages. Your only option is to start a separate one and then deal with having to check a number of different accounts for mail every day.
Usernames of the Future
So, will our kids’ usernames also be seen as ridiculous in two decades’ time? Will they be hawking themselves around the job market using SubscribeToPewDiePie2019@hotmail.net or receiving an important message about their ISAs from the bank through their GoGoGoJetters@gmail.co.uk address?
It seems unlikely. Even my five and two-year-old get that the internet is an established part of our life. They’ve never known what it is like to not have superfast broadband that allows them to watch Thomas The Tank Engine whenever they want. I’m fairly certain that they will at least consider the future when they think up their internet usernames.
What do you think? Will youngsters always look for the silly or cutesy names when picking a username, just like they will always try to fit in swearwords into three letters on the leaderboards at the arcade?
Email me on BykerGroveIzSkill@netscape.uk to let me know. Nah, not really, just stick your message in the Comments below.