"Five of 71 men and six of 93 women included their birth year, and two men and two women included the current year, 2015," Herring said.
She surveyed over 300 usernames on OKCupid, coding them for information relating to the following categories: gendered, real name, numbers, trying to be funny, geographical reference, hobby/interest, profession, sex/love, physical attributes, nonphysical attributes, sentential, “random” words, meaning unclear.
“There’s too much variety in the names to really get a sense of whether one particular one affects incoming messages,” he told me in an email.
“There are certainly trends -- people append the word 'taco' a lot, but that’s because we suggest it, kind of as a joke.
For OKC, I chose my initials punctuated by underscores, and tended to prefer equally minimalistic, cryptic self-representations, as opposed to, say, song lyrics or anything with “Brooklyn” affixed to it.
I was curious about whether my tendency to critique usernames more harshly than photos was universal, and decided to speak with a linguist about whether or not the language of our online dating avatars says something about who we are.