“Moreover, the kinds of attributes they mention differ from those mentioned by men.” While "cuddly," "silly," "sweet," and "faithful" were all used in the women’s profiles she surveyed, men gravitated towards "sexy," "cool," "mellow," and "great." According to Herring's survey, usernames on OKCupid are an average of 10.5 characters.
She compared this with the number of characters in usernames from Internet Relay Chat logs she's saved from 1999 -- names on that site were an average of 6.6 characters.
She conducted a small study to determine whether there are trends in username choice, and whether the way we choose usernames has changed since Internet’s nascent days.
But, another data-driven researcher I spoke with, Susan Herring, a professor of information science and linguistics at Indiana University, found the question intriguing.Based on these tags, she was able to draw a few conclusions about usernames, how men and women differ in choosing them, and how choosing usernames has changed since the advent of the Internet.Because it draws on a smallish sample size, the study is neither comprehensive nor definitive.A whopping 42 percent of the usernames surveyed by Herring included users' real names, be it first names, last names, or initials."My impression is that many of the real names on these platforms are used out of a lack of imagination, since real names aren’t required or expected," Herring said. "Several male names and one female name incorporated nonstandard orthography characteristic of casual Internet communication," Herring said.