Snapchat Gives Users a Fresh Start

Lydia Hernandez

More stories from Lydia Hernandez


When Snapchat came out in 2011, many Burke students were influenced to get the app by older influences, like siblings.

“My sister has always been a big influence on me. When she was in middle school, she would do all of the fun filters with me and send them to her friends, so I decided to make my own account,” senior Marianna Wheeler said.

Although the app lets us change how other users see our names on their screen, that old username still lingers. As of Feb. 23, Snapchat now allows users to change their usernames. In a press release, they [Snapchat] said, “Snapchatters will be able to update their username to any unclaimed handle once per year, with no impact to their snap codes, streaks, scores, or memories. They get to keep all their friends and conversations going, under whatever username suits them best.”

That cringey username from 6th grade can now be changed into something more professional, like a first and last name. We did a poll on our Instagram and 34% of students say that they will be changing their usernames as soon as possible, and 64% said that they would not be changing their usernames.

Along with the poll, we also left an open questionnaire where students were able to give a custom opinion on why they changed it or why they wouldn’t. The three most popular topics among the answers were that they misspelled something in their username, it was embarrassing, or that they couldn’t just let go of it because of memories.

Senior Yannick Jans votes “no” on our Instagram poll asking if students have changed their Snapchat username yet. Jans said “I might, but I have not found the perfect fit yet”.

Pressure seemed to play a large deal into what students chose as a username. They had to choose one username that describe them or something they enjoyed in only 30 characters.

“The idea for my username came so quickly to mind. I loved the idea of angels because they were cool, so I made my account as soon as possible and did not spell check so I ended up with ‘Maryangle123’,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler then stated that it’s funny to look back on her old username and laugh at the spelling errors she once made, but it was time for a change.

“When I go to college and make new friends, I don’t want the first thing they see is my username, and that I spelled my own name wrong and angel wrong as well. I just felt like it was time for a new begining as cheesy as it sounds,” Wheeler adds.

Senior Colton Billings, with the previous username “Pewdiebillings,” voted that he would be changing his username once the update was available.

“It was an ongoing joke between my cousin and I. We were huge Pewdiepie fans back then and made matching usernames together,” Billings said.

Soon after, Billings changed his username to just a simple first and last name but later, he had some regrets.

“My old username was really embarrassing and it needed to be changed, but I am thinking of changing it back when the year expires for nostalgia purposes,” Billings commented.

Emotional attachment has played a part into people not changing their usernames.

“It has honestly become a conversation starter, when someone asks me what my snapchat username is. We all just laugh and say ‘tall giraffe’,” senior Hannah Ajogbeje said.

Ajogbeje made an account in Nov. of  2015 along with most of her friends at the time.

“Im afraid if I change my username, I may not like it later on because once I change it, I am not able to make a new one for a whole year,” Ajogbeje states.