AOL Screen Names — Why You Just Can’t Let Go

While the chat room, dial-up era of yesteryear has long passed, we’re still a bit reluctant to completely bid adieu to the AOL screen names that once defined us. Raise your hand if you still have at least one account attached to your old-school (maybe even a smidge embarrassing) screen name. Hey, we don’t judge — if you only knew what ours was (cough, xxLFOloVerxX, cough).
According to The Daily Beast, there's a slew of reasons we don't change them — one being it’s too big of a hassle. (Read: We’re just lazy.) “We don't rethink our identities that often: we want to get on with our lives,” says Internet expert Bill Cheswick. However, AOL chief architect Joe Schober postulates that because a screen name is extremely personal, it’s tough to part ways with your online identity. “It’s all about your sense of self,” says Schober.
True or not, it’s interesting to dissect how and why we commit to these personas. When you think of it, it isn’t so different from the handles and names we use today on social media. Or, we could just chalk it all up to good ol' nostalgia. Either way, we’re still hanging onto that after-school, buddy list-loving alias.