Where do people come up with their email addresses? Part of my job is to input current contact information for the members of our congregation. Most email addresses are plain and simple–some variation of a name or the names of family members…but some…I just don’t get it. I think there are two different thought processes that come into play when creating an email address. First, people want to be unique and creative. So they come up with something that is totally “them.” My first email address was “mem_girl.” A friend of mine used to call me memily and I’m a girl, so it made sense. There was this notion in my head that I didn’t want to use my real name because…well, then people would know it’s me!
That email stuck until I moved to college. College email doesn’t give you a lot of choice. They tell you what your email will be and you do it. Along the way, I created a new personal account that is also a combination of my name. I guess when you become a grown up, you use your email on everything from credit card accounts to resumes and you want it to reflect a certain level of sophistication and professionalism.
So today I’m putting in the email addresses of a few new people and they were making me laugh…grown adults using emails like “poohlover4ever” as their primary email. Again, there is nothing WRONG with these things, it just makes me laugh and wonder-do they have a ‘real’ email address, as well?
I think children and young people today are coming up with ‘catchy’ emails that they think sound cool based on all sorts of different ideas about the world. It hurts me to see children attach ‘sexual’ numbers and references to their email addresses without seeming to really understand what they are implying about themselves. Or maybe they do realize what they’re doing and are just unashamed of it. That brazen attitude can be good, but it can also be dangerous. There is a lack of innocence in this world, and I think even the littlest things like inappropriate emails can set the tone for a lot of pain and heartache.
Maybe I’m being silly. Maybe I’m being dramatic. But it’s what I’m thinking about this cold and blustery Tuesday morning as I answer the phones.