Last Updated Jan 21, 2010 9:43 PM EST
That means a lot of people judge you by the alias you keep, not unlike the way you might be judged by a personalized license plate or your clever nickname. (Rick, for example, has started calling himself "The Predicament." And his license plate is "Hottie42.")
Does your e-mail address say the right things about you to clients, co-workers, and potential employers?
Lifehacker recently conducted an online poll to see what its readers thought about e-mail addresses, and the results are fascinating. Here are the most interesting conclusions:
Beware of cutsey or unprofessional usernames. Regardless of the domain (the part after the @ symbol), you might want to base your username on your real name (like davejoh or dave.johnson) rather than goodwriter or editorstud).
Avoid domains with bad reputations. This is kind of a subjective thing, but AOL and Yahoo addresses are kind of, well, 19th Century. They make people think you're out of touch or technically unsophisticated.
If you have your own business -- even a small one -- you should invest in your own domain name. If you freelance, for example, you don't look like you're serious about a career if you're using a Gmail or AOL domain in professional correspondence.