Eight Useless Uses of the Hashtag

hashtag

hashtag (Photo credit: danielmoyle)

Hashtags have been around for a while now. When I started out on Twitter, in 2011, I recall a certain apprehension about using them. What did they mean? Would I do it right? How does a hashtag work, anyway?

Hashtags were meant to group similar items together. For example, if you wanted your information to be visible with related information on parenting, you’d use the hashtag #parenting. Later, you could click on that hashtag to search for parenting-related items. A keyword, if you will. If you’ve organized an event, you create a hashtag. If you want the world to know about your new campaign, or want people to tweet about the new season of your over-the-top premium cable show, you create a hashtag.

Simple, right?

Well, hashtags have evolved. And I’d like to discuss a few ways in which they’ve come to, ahem, enhance our lives.

 

The Punchline

This is probably the most frequently used useless use of the hashtag. I do it, you do it.  The hashtag has become the punchline, the answer to the question, the last word.

Case in Point: Jimmy Cracks Corn #andidontcare

Useful? No. Annoying? Yes.

 

Part of the Facebook Status

In the not-so-distant past, Facebook users would add hashtags to their statuses. Facebook, however, had not yet developed a hashtagging system, so, really, there was no point. Facebook, now a few days late and about twelve dollars short, has instituted its own hashtagging system, for which I’ve not yet found a practical application. In a word, Facebook hashtags don’t work. Furthermore, they look silly. Even furthermore, do you really want your grandmother hashtagging? It’s creepy. Stop it, Nana. And knock it off, Facebook.

Little Jimmy has his first football game of the season today! Can’t wait to see him as a starting quarterback! #bringingmyhemorrhoidpillow

 

The String

Stressful day? Trying to be extra funny? Hashtag it!

Example: Ugh. Stuck in traffic. Again. #hateroutethreeonmondaymorning

Why does that have to be a hashtag? Because it doesn’t.

 

The Casual Hashtag

You don’t use hashtags normally, but you’re feeling feisty. You might be excited about something coming up.  Therefore you tweet (or, of course, Facebook) #football. Or #butterbrickle. Or #peaceandquiet. And nothing else.

We feel you.

 

The End of the Sentence

Sometimes, your tweet isn’t good enough on its own. In that case, we split it up and hashtag that bad boy. Why? Who cares? Because we can!

Example: So tired. #needwineandamassage #calgontakemeaway

 

The Answer We Just Can’t Give Out Loud

The Answer We Just Can’t Give Out Loud is helpful mainly to female heads of household, to demonstrate sentiments that should be shouted from rooftops, if only they didn’t draw the attention of local authorities or social service organizations.

Examples:

My kids are asking me when I will be done with my bath. #never #leavemealone #lalalaicanthearyou

My husband wants to know what I’m cooking for dinner. #buzzoff #ordertakeout

 

To Demonstrate Belongingness

You’re part of a society dedicated to a beloved cause. You want everyone to know it. Therefore, you do.

 

So hungry! #ganjagrowersunite

Hot date tonight! Trimming the tribble! #trekkiesgonnagetsome

Finally got that seatbelt buckled! #mensaFTW

 

The Spoken Hashtag

The spoken hashtag is the most egregious hashtagging offense imaginable, in my ever-so-humble opinion. This is when someone actually speaks the words ‘hashtag’ prior to, in general, making a snide remark. The spoken hashtag, and other texting-to-speaking transitional English, I’ve observed, is used mostly by the under twenty-five set and people who work on entertainment news shows. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt because of their a) inherent lack of life experience, or b) inherent lack of life experience, but it’s so very hard to let it go.

 

Next time you hear someone outside yelling, “Hashtag: Fierce!” you have my blessing to just nick them a little with your car.

If you hear someone yelling, “Hashtag: Oh Em Gee!” then you take them out, back up, and do it again.

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Comments

  1. Ha! #ThisWasAwesome

    Like

  2. #bacon is the only thing I like better than this post.

    Like

  3. Guilty as charged.

    #abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

    Like

  4. Haha! Yes, the Facebook status hashtag and the String hashtag both drive me nuts!

    I see people using hashtags on Facebook all the time and it bugs me. This isn’t Twitter or Instagram, it’s Facebook! I’ve had to hide people from my newsfeed because every single status had hashtags.

    And the String hashtags are so hard to read, I don’t even bother.

    Like

  5. It’s even worse when you are using a screen reader and everything is read out loud to you. #…#…#…

    Like

  6. #Ihaveafriendwhoonlyusesstringhashtagesforeveryoneofherstatues #forwardingthistohernow hashtagOMG!

    Like

  7. C’mon- it’s it called “pound”? Or “the number sign”? When did this change?

    #stucklivingin1995
    :)

    Like

  8. You’ve cleared up alot of confusion for me in this post and with laughter tears streaming down my face! I’m not a tweeter so the hash tags have had me thoroughly confused for a while

    Like

  9. The spoken hashtag is a ginormous pet peeve for me. But let’s not forget about Instagram.
    #pictures #photos #instaphotos #colors #pretty #trees #stab #me #with #a #dull #fork #FTW

    Like

  10. #55555

    The number “5” in Laotian is pronounced “ha” so.

    Like

  11. Lol, I’ve always wondered what the hashtag was for as I’ve never used them, so here goes…#wowIdiditbutitstilldoesntmeananything! :)

    Like

  12. Ha!

    Like

  13. #Ihearthashtags I even registered one! Haha!

    Like

  14. I am in love with this post. I want to marry it.

    Like

  15. Great post! I myself just recently learned what a hashtag was and how to attempt to use one after finally giving in and joining Twitter. #Istilldontunderstandtheirpurpose :)

    Like

  16. This: Hot date tonight! Trimming the tribble! #trekkiesgonnagetsome made me #LOL. ;) I fully support and use run on hashies.

    Like

  17. I am now very disappointed #trekkiesgonnagetsome isn’t actually a hashtag people use. (And yes, I checked.)

    Like

  18. I’m definitely guilty of #hastagabuse! I even put hashtags in my gchat statuses! I’ll work on it now!

    Like

  19. Hashtag: wordtoyourmother ;)

    Like

  20. I hate them SO much.
    I have an old friend that is a newbie at twitter. He uses Instagram and has hashtags like “I #want a #new #pair of #shoes”. I want to hurt him.

    The FB thing is annoying too, but I’m still not sure some people realize that their Twitter statuses are being posted to FB. If they are typing the hashtag directly into FB then they’re just silly.

    Like

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