Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Samer from Austin, TX. Samer Wonders, “When will we run out of usernames?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Samer!
Isn't the Internet a groovy place? You have educational websites like Wonderopolis where you can go to satisfy your curiosity about all sorts of different subjects.
You can also shop for just about anything in the world online. And if you're bored? From cat videos to the latest movies and music, there's no end to the entertainment you'll find just a few clicks away.
If you've spent much time surfing the Internet, you've already figured out that most websites require you to register before the best of what they have to offer. That means you have to provide some personal information and choose a username and password.
With a world population pushing past 7.6 billion people and millions of websites available on the Internet, one might think that we'd be running out of usernames eventually. Don't worry, though, the supply of usernames is basically infinite, so you shouldn't run into any problems accessing your favorite sites anytime soon.
Usernames can be real names, fake names, email addresses, and even random strings of characters, numbers, and special characters. Given the number of letters, numbers, and special characters available, the number of combinations of those that can be used as a username is infinite.
Of course, that doesn't mean the username you really want will be available. Do you want to be Wonderboy or Wondergirl? Guess what? There are probably many kids out there who want the same thing. If one of them has already registered with that username on a particular site, you're out of luck.
Usernames have to be unique, so that the website knows who it's dealing with. If there were two versions of Wonderboy, how would the website know which one was logging in? It would be chaos! That's why the website might suggest you try a username like Wonderboy123 if Wonderboy is already taken.
So how should you choose a username? We have a few suggestions. First, choose a username that's unique and memorable. If you already have an email address, you might want to use that, since it'll be easy for you to remember and you know no one else will be using it.
That's why many people do use their email address as a username. Just be sure never to use personal information, such as a password, your social security number, or a credit card number as a username. You don't want people gaining access to that type of data!
Give it some thought and try to make a good decision. You could be stuck with your chosen username for a long time, so it's worth putting in some effort to choose a good one. As a general rule, shorter, simpler usernames are usually better.
If you come up with a great username that happens to be taken, don't fret just yet. You may be able to add a special character, such as a dash, an underline, or a period, to come up with a suitable alternative. For example, if Wondergirl is taken, you could try Wonder-girl, Wonder_girl, or Wonder.girl.