After reading Andrew Clinkman’s post, Underscores in Ye Old Twitter Handle, I was inspired to elaborate on my experience choosing a Twitter handle. There are a ton of articles that give guidelines on how to choose a Twitter handle like Twitter Handles Dos and Don’t’s, so I will not get into those details, but the main idea is that if you are going for a professional account (meaning you would be willing to share it with an employer) you should use part or all of your name. For instance, using my name as an example I could choose @kcamara, @kcam1, @kinec, @camarak, etc. So then why did I choose @fatkine10?
My given name is Fatou Kiné, though I go by Kiné. A lot of my family and friends call me Fat Kiné for short – but these are family and friends from Senegal, West Africa. Fat Kiné is a very common name in Senegal, akin to Sarah or Emily, but here in the U.S. it is not familiar at all!
I chose @fatkine10, because it is part of my real name, and I have kept the handle as so because it has sentimental value to me. I also rationalize that though my name may first be perceived as non-professional, the content in my tweets would hopefully override that perception.
Though it is definitely an ongoing battle because on the other hand, it does not necessarily look like a legitimate name, especially the “fat” part. My professional goals have evolved since I opened my Twitter account and today I do not want to turn people off from reading my tweets because my handle is strange.
TAKEAWAY: It is crucial to make intentional decisions when opening up social media accounts. What I post online represents my personal brand to people I do and do not know and it is absolutely necessary to continue reflecting on my actions online, asking myself, “Is my behavior and presence on the internet in sync with my interpersonal and professional goals?”
Let me know what you think – does @fatkine10 seem weird or unprofessional for a Twitter handle?