For women who take their husband’s last name after marriage or men who take their wife’s (hey, Jay Z did it so it has to be cool) there’s a new very 21st century problem: what do you do with all your social media handles attached to your maiden (or duden?) name? This dilemma is causing some distress among new brides, according to The Atlantic. One woman said, “Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram let me change my URL and name, no problem. It’s Pinterest that’s trouble. Also, Etsy. Apparently you can’t change your Etsy username…unless I want to start a new profile and lose all my purchase data.”
As women increasingly marry later in life, and after they’re more established in their careers, less and less of them choose to take their husband’s name. Some research has even shown that women are more successful when they keep their maiden name because they’re viewed as more career-oriented and ambitious. Women who don’t change their names are in good company: Demi Moore is still Demi Moore, as is Kate Moss. Madonna never became Madonna Ritchie, but then again, two names was always one too many for Madge. Even Hillary Clinton only took Bill’s last name to help him in his bid for re-election as Governor of Arkansas in 1982 – for the first seven years of their marriage, she went by Hillary Rodham.
And, sorry, it has to be said: what if the worst happens and you have to change it all back? Khloe Kardashian just dropped “Odom” from her Twitter and Instagram bios which caused a flurry of media speculation. It’s like that little broken heart that Facebook attaches to your status whenever you end a relationship, except you have to do it over and over, on every single platform. I don’t know about Khloe, but my wine budget doesn’t have the room for that sort of trauma.
Part of the beauty of the Internet is that we can be whoever we want to be – both in the sense of the classic New Yorker cartoon where “on the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog,” and in the sense that you can endlessly name and rename, invent and reinvent yourself. Plenty of people have separate handles for Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook, and we somehow all manage to keep each other straight. Newlyweds have much better things to be doing than worrying about changing all their social media handles. Unpack that Le Creuset. Have sex. Marvel at the fact that you found someone who promised to love you forever. Twitter’s going to be just fine, with your new name or without.