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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    287

    Popularity: Perception vs. Reality

    Why do you think the most popular names (a la Aiden and Sophia) seem so popular when as compared to about 30 years ago and earlier, the most popular names of today are about four times less popular than the top names then (like, say, Jennifer and Jason). We clearly use a wider variety of names for both genders now, which explains WHY today's names are statistically less popular. But what can explain the comparable social perceptions we have regardless? Do you think it's our pervasive global media culture (which didn't exist until recently) that now defines what seems overwhelmingly popular and what doesn't as opposed to actual empirical data?

    I'm into these kind of nerdy questions as a former mass media grad student... Indulge me with your thoughts?

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    East Coast, US
    Posts
    956
    I think the internet is really influencing our perceptions about popularity. First, people are more connected to others than ever on social networks and are keeping in "contact" with people that they probably wouldn't they weren't around. I have a pretty popular name and my parents said they hadn't heard anyone else use the name so they were surprised when it was so popular. Nowadays you can see what others have named their kids and who the kids play with, so some names just end up feeling more popular because you are more aware of them.
    Lucia Mireille ◊ Vevina Circe ◊ Cressida Roux ◊ Saskia Lior ◊ Leonie Basia ◊ Ophelia Inez ◊ Araceli Selene ◊ Liora Delphine

    Ivo Casimir ◊ Laszlo Dean ◊ Ronan Orion ◊ Solomon Idris ◊ Otto Antares ◊ Abram Magnus ◊ Dominic Ozias ◊ Beau Balthazar

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    287
    Good feedback. Thanks.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    124
    I agree that social media and readily available naming statistics may skew the perception of the popularity of names. Another factor that can make names seem more popular is localized popularity. People often experience concentrated pockets of popularity related to local culture.
    Rachel Whitney 1984
    (Name Nerd since abt. 1994)

    Malcolm Alexander 2012

    Current Favorite Names For a Future Child:

    Firsts:

    August, Carlyle, Caspar, Ansel, Gustav, Caspian, Ronan, Armand, Hubert, Desmond

    Estelle, Astrid, Adele, Leonie, Celeste, Solenne, Elsa, Sylvie, Esme, Helen

    Middles:
    Llewellyn, Frederick, Adelbert, Augustus, Ehrenfried

    Matilda, Isadora, Adelina, Helena, Elsabina

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    787
    The internet has made name statistics much more widely accessible than before. People know what names are popular now (and thus which names to avoid if they want their child to have an unusual name), whereas in previous generations it was more or less a guessing game based on the names of people one knew.
    filles Valentina | Anastasia | ?
    garçons Jasper | Felix | Sylvan

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