Can we just talk about the Hashtag for a minute?

Seriously. I know this is a tough topic for everyone, considering we are all so distinctly on one side or another. (The sides, of course, being absolute hatred of the hashtag and/
or utter bewilderment and confusion, and adoring the hashtag to the extent that it's starting to take over your life.) This may be hard to hear, but you know me... I like to deal with the difficult issues. If you find yourself falling into the latter category, please: consider this your hashtag intervention.

I remember a time when a simple # was the symbol for number and nothing more. Now, we say number to acknowledge a wide variety of things. It's sort of the virtual version of not shutting up. Where once we could post a picture with a simple caption My sister and I on Spring Break! we now feel the need to follow that information up with every possible question someone could ask about the picture. Wait, did you say Spring Break? #SpringBreak I'm confused, Spring Break of what year? #2014yo HOLD UP I thought you were a natural brunette? #RockinTheBlond But...but...what is that body of water behind you....? #ocean And those winged creatures? #birds And what did you have for lunch that day? #Justatepizza #sofull #hatemyself 
We have Twitter to blame, but I say more power to 'em for coming up with something new. I mean, congratulations. It really caught on. The problem wasn't when people were hashtagging on Twitter... the problem was when it started to invade all other social media, where it didn't even work, and in turn the rest of our lives.
You know how people like to write on the freeway overpass with cups? Welcome Home Elder So and So, I love you Blah Blah, etc? Well, I kid you not, I have seen some of those with HASHTAGS. AND SIDEWAYS SMILEYS! :) <--- Are people really not aware that the sideways smiley is a thing because it's all we used to be able to do on computers? Am I the only one who remembers when all you could do on your computer was play Minesweeper and draw one of these bad boys on Paint?

My point being, why oh why could you not do a regular, right-side-up smiley face in the real world?
See, there's a problem with hashtags that goes far beyond my sheer annoyance with them, and it is this: it opens up a whole new world of communication, while also leaving us completely limited with what we can do with it. Which is why I propose OtherTags: tags we can use in social media and OF COURSE real life in order to more effectively communicate:

* The Sarcasm Tag: Used to convey sarcasm in any statement. Ex: *GoodGoingHotShot. This one is particularly useful for people like me, who use sarcasm about as often as not, and have felt the pain of people  not fully grasping your sarcastic ways.

% The Drama Tag: Used to convey intensity and drama in your posts. Ex: %MYLIFEISOVER. This one will be extremely useful for all the people begging for attention. Wait, what? I didn't say that.

$ The Poor Tag: Used to accept donations from friends. $BringOnTheMoney, I'm broke.

! The Warning Tag: Used to warn others that your posts sole intention was to cause conflict among your Facebook friends. Ex: !GirlsCan'tPlaySports. This way, I can avoid reading the next 25 responses of arguments because let's face it, once you start reading them, you can't look away.

And feel free to use these new OtherTags simultaneously, and alongside the hashtag. For example, rather than just telling us all that you went to the gym, tell us with some flair! #GymminItUp *I'mSObuff !MyMusclesAreBiggerThanYours%

I say if we're gonna do this Hashtag thing, let's do it right.

But really, people. Haven't you ever looked at a picture of your mom in the 70's and laughed at her hair and shirt and wallpaper and shag carpet? Don't you think, someday, your kids will be looking you up online and see all your obnoxious posts with all the unnecessary hashtags and think the same thing you did about your mom's Farrah Fawcett hairstyle? Are we going to let hashtags become our own personal shag carpet?

The hashtag is like our money: the only thing backing it is our belief that it means something. Maybe it's the writer in me, but I couldn't stay silent any longer. Use full sentences. You weren't raised in a barn.


1 comment:

  1. This was a hoot! % I agree that hashtags are stupid! *Love everyone who overuses them.;-)