(on social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.
See, that idea doesn't sound that bad. Being able to group a particular trending idea or topic, and follow it to see how the world reacts to it, allowing others to put their own spin on it, or add to the discussion. The hashtag idea was first proposed by Chris Medina, as a way to filter out all the noise that's on twitter, and allow users to focus on certain things.
It was proposed, it stuck, and things were good. For a little while.
Then it was bastardized into being a trendy idea with little to no comprehension, littered with the social trash and confusion it was trying to navigate around in the first place. Over time it seems like the concept has been lost on the masses, turning the hashtag into a stupid pop culture phrase like YOLO or SWAG (I'm sure I'll find time to bitch about these in the future), both of which are usually accompanied with a hashtag. Or worse TOGETHER, WITH A HASHTAG.
For years I saw hashtags on Facebook, which was my first guess as to nobody knowing how they work. Facebook just started to support the group sourcing of hashtags, and hilariously enough I saw a lot of people stop using it after. On any social media site, using #ihatemondays, has the same effect of saying !@$ihatemondays. Absolutely nothing.
#Then #people #started #hashtaging #every #god #damned #word
, either because they really had no clue how to use it, or worse, they were attention seekers craving more followers hoping that #the
will help. #thenthereweretheassholeswhohashtagedwholesentancestobesomesortofironicdouchebag
(I will honestly say I was guilty of this in my youth).
Where it really started getting ridiculous, was when people started using it outside of social media. Like in common phrases, or on fucking T-shirts. Buzzfeed made a great thread of cringe-worthy improper uses that are worth a gander.
Buzzfeed: 14 Uses of Hashtags That Will Make You Cringe
1. This yearbook hash-splosion:
2. Using them on wide-ruled notebook paper:
4. Terrible tweets like this:
… in reference to the Casey Anthony verdict.
… in reference to the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
5. As corporate team-building:
9. Anyone who uses them out loud:
11. Everything about this ad, but especially the hashtag:
13. On your way to a funeral:
14. This baby’s actual name:
Seriously I hope that guy with the tattoo hates himself as much as I do right now, 5 years from now when this whole thing becomes dated and overused. Just like the mullet or MC Hammer. Jiminy Cricket there is even a baby that's going to grow up with the name HASHTAG.
But we can save it guys! Some great campaigns and stories have come from utilizing hashtags. Sharpie's campaign for instance, encouraged people from all over to make art using sharpie markers, and upload a pic of it with #sharpie
. Users could then see their pic amongst all the other creations, all over the world. Creativity was shared, and it was really something cool to watch.
No one really uses hashtags any more to search twitter, but I think it's important that we acknowledge what society does with something they don't really understand or misuse. So please have sex, drive, drink, and most importantly, hashtag responsibly.