Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Some of you are missing the point of hashtags

I usually live my life on a positive beat.  Ce le live, Que sera sera, Live and let live. Etc, etc.

I don’t get too judgey and for the most part stay away from folks that tend to be judgey. 
It isn’t that I don’t have negative thoughts. I do.  I just fight like hell to turn them into positive energy.  What is the point of focusing on the negative?  It is harder some times than others to do this.  Facebook is where I most often find myself at combat with my inner-self.
I could write novels on what I really think about people’s political Facebook statuses and just how ignorant they make people look, but I choose not to.  They are entitled to their opinion.  Why they think everyone on Facebook cares about their opinion????  That I will never understand.  That is what blogs are for….in my humble opinion (that I am sure they do not care about either).  I also try my hardest to stay away from posting opinions on current events on my statuses as well.  I don't always succeed.  But I try.
But today is a different day.  I choose to address an attitude I have seen flung about on social media lately, the far less serious than politics or religion, hatred of the hashtag.
Obviously JT’s hilarious Hashtag video thrust this topic to the forefront and ever since then I have heard the echoing of many pop tops opening up cans of hashtag whoop ass all over Facebook.
I get the annoyance with the what I call the hashtag abusers…you know the #humblebrag that almost everyone is guilty of and the ever present philosophy of “if I write this in a hashtag I won’t seem to braggy, btichy, silly, immature, insert whatever social no-no you are trying to avoid being accused of but are actually guilty of here….” 
But when used properly, hashtags can open up your world and your mind.  Hashtags are just a way to group like-minded things together on the internet for easy access and viewing. 
For example, just a few days ago I posted a picture of my gallery wall on Instagram. I then included some hashtags, one of which was #art.  I then followed that hasthtag and sifted through a few of the other photos labeled with this hashtag.  I came across a painting that really spoke to me.  It was like someone else had entered my mind and painted something through the lens of my own eyes…how I see the world and the people in it in my dreams.  I clicked on the picture and followed it to the Instagramer’s page. 
She is a young artist in Paris.  Cool right? It gets better.  I then wrote a simple comment among a hundred other comments. I didn’t use @ to get the artist’s attention or anything like that.  I simply wrote “this makes my heart happy”.  Much to my astonishment, the next day, the artist responded to me by saying “That is the nicest compliment I have ever gotten”.  That kicked off a back and forth conversation where she told me about her inspirations, her aesthetic, her studies and her life in Paris.
So basically, I spent my lunch break making friends with an artist in Paris. All through the wonder of hashtags. 
I have a bunch of stories like this.  No, I don’t spend all of my time on the internet.  I have a lunch break and some time in the evening where I like to look at people’s pictures and funny buzzword lists on twitter.  Yes I have a life.  A very full and rewarding life.  Yes, some people add one million hashtags to their instagram and twitter posts to try and rack up followers, but most of us use it to explore the world and the amazing people in it….
I realize that many people that say they hate hashtags don’t have any clue what they are used for…and a few that use them don’t really either.  I get that.  But hating something or complaining about something you don’t understand or have never tried makes ZERO sense.
I am not writing this to gripe at anyone, I am writing this to hopefully enlighten some folks.  With everything cool, new, useful comes those who abuse it and make it annoying.  Don’t let the abusers deter you from what hashtags have to offer. 
Now for some perspective. I know I am not writing about the national deficit or tensions in the Middle East. On the importance scale, this is at about a .01. I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in on a subject where I felt like a lot of people on my newsfeed could use a little more information.
Hashtags allow people who share similar tastes and enjoy similar things to find one another worldwide.  Not all of my friend's love a statement neckalce as much as I do...but plenty of people all over the world enjoy seeing pictures of other people's neck candy. Hashtags are a way to make connecting easier.  Which is the point of social media, yes? 
Which brings me to my next point. Lately, I have heard a few people in my age bracket (late 20's-early 30's) say that they don’t really “do” social media, or “like” social media.  Really?  You are dating yourself.  And no I don’t mean taking yourself out the movies. I mean you are showing your age and not in a good way.
Staying relevant is pivotal in the workforce. What field do you work in?  HR? Law? Education?  HR folks…how do you request and receive resumes?  Legal beagles…how do you keep up with CLEs, your state BAR office and local BAR events? How many of you visit legal forums?  Education people…..I would imagine this would be most important to you…..how do you expect to reach children if you do not stay relevant?  The high schools and colleges that utilize social media will reach kids in whole new ways and have a better chance of holding their attention.  Whether we like it or not, younger generations are living fully through social media.  This isn’t a bad thing.  It just seems like it is because we don’t want to have to learn about all this new crap.  Just like our parents didn’t want to learn about three-way calling, chat rooms and then smart phones.  I get that.  But my experience has been the more you know, the more you grow.  I am not saying to stay glued to the internet but step outside your comfort zone!  See what is out there.
Negative Nancy today,
p.s. Anyone out there who speaks in hashtag....stop it.  You are ruing it for the rest of us.


  1. Great post! And I didn't even catch a glimpse of that negative nancy you're talkin about!

  2. #'saregreat Ilove#'s Why do we use the word hashtag and not just put the #? #Ialwayswondered overusesof#'s ? It is a shame that you have to start with the #.