Hashtag This

Before I start, let me lay all my cards on the table.Yes, I have a Twitter account. I made one some months (years?) ago because I needed to check something, or had read something that necessitated me doing it, or something. I don’t use it. I don’t go on Twitter. I have made a conscious decision not to. I already spend too much time mucking about on social media.  So, to put it plainly, I am a Dormant Twit. Or something like that.

I had to put that all out there because I’m about to rant about hashtags and I need to be sure that you all know that I am highly unqualified to do so. I’m not entirely sure that the concept I have in my head of how they work is correct, but I’m not really bothered. The only thing I’m entirely sure of is that, on Twitter, they have a real purpose, and therefore they can stay over there, in that foreign Twit landscape where I remain dormant.

And that is where they should stay.

The use of a hashtag in either conversation or on Facebook (unless, of course, when being used as in Twitter – to link), to me, indicates one of two things. Either you think your friends are too stupid to work out what you’re saying (usually in some sort of ironic or sarcastic way) or you are too intellectually challenged to write a sentence that gets your irony or sarcasm across to self-said friends.

Is it just me or is the world just getting more and more dumbed down within the ever-evolving social media sphere? First it was emoticons telling me to catch the joke sent (laughing face), that the sender is ‘just kidding’ (winking face), that they’re not only saying sorry but are really sorry (little crying face) or really, really love me (a row of pumping hearts). Now we get the added bonus of a hashtag, to explain a little further. Just in case we didn’t get it.

Am I just sounding like an old-fashioned (dormant) twit, unable to adapt to the changing landscape of words? I do get it on one level – it’s easy to misconstrue a three word sentence on Whatsapp. A winking face makes it easier to make sure that a comment said in jest is taken as such but… sigh.

What the hell has happened to nuance? I miss it.

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4 Responses to Hashtag This

  1. The true power of hashtags is using them as a bookmark for an ongoing conversation over a broad community. It means it is easy to find people talking about the same thing as you are. The easiest example is things like #YesAllWomen and #EachEveryWoman in the wake of Elliot Rodgers’ shoiting spree.
    I use it as a running joke in my tweets for example #crazycatlady101 (when talking about filling hot water bottle for my cats) or #someanimalseattheiryoung when having a mommy rant.

    The original point of hashtags was to give people a way to easily find the content that they are interested in amongst the millions of tweets out there. Hashtags have grown into a unique and subtle form of self expression for some and a whole new level of textese for others.

    the advent of SM has caused the fasted change in the English language. Resistance is futile.

  2. King Hare says:

    You forgot about Instagram. Please edit above piece to include a reference to the use of hashtags in aforementioned application, which is required to link photos of similar subjects or contexts. Thank you.

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