What's More Embarrassing Than That Old Screen Name? Sharing It : All Tech Considered Years ago, you spent hours dreaming up the perfect AOL Instant Messenger screen name. Many of you aren't so proud of your now-defunct handles today, but that didn't stop you from sharing them with us.
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What's More Embarrassing Than That Old Screen Name? Sharing It

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What's More Embarrassing Than That Old Screen Name? Sharing It

What's More Embarrassing Than That Old Screen Name? Sharing It

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/359344785/359403537" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to some potentially painful memories - old AOL Instant Messenger screen names. Two weeks ago on All Tech, as part of our series about millennials, we ask you to reach way back and recall your instant messenger days. This was huge in the late '90s and early ots.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Many of you bravely shared old screen names with us. And here are a few - starting with nerd_i_am_16 - that's the one-time, online alias of Hetali Lodaya of San Antonio, Texas. She writes that it combined a Dr. Seuss reference, my birthday and a very strong self-identification with nerd-dom.

SIEGEL: Sarah Van der Ploeg of Chicago says hers was viola chic. She writes, this clearly shows my middle school naivete. As much as I love the viola, it has never been cool.

BLOCK: Hey. I'm a viola player, and I resent that comment. Lillian Goble of Carmel, New York went by queen of graves. She writes, in seventh grade, I thought there was nothing cooler than a spoonful of angst.

SIEGEL: Lana McGinnis of San Diego tried to pull a fast one with the name ImOprahSERIOUSLY. Seriously in all caps. And she confesses, I would occasionally go into AIM chat rooms and announce that I was giving away free cars to everyone. Surprisingly, there were some people who seemed to believe it was true. So if anyone out there is still waiting to hear back from Oprah about that free car she offered them in an AIM chat room 10 years ago, I sincerely apologize.

BLOCK: Only a partial confession from Claire McInerny of Bloomington, Indiana - her screen name was agent giggle chunk. And she warns - don't ask me the back story.

SIEGEL: And we got even less from Alexa Tipton of New York City - seven years later, she writes, and I'm still too embarrassed to share.

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