Look, I get it. Hashtags are useful for Twitter. Search indexing is important for a service such as the type that Twitter provides. Just because hashtags are useful for Twitter, though, does not mean that they are useful for anything else. Ever. #hashtagsareawesome

In proof of point, all you need to do in order to observe this problem is to take a look at Facebook. People constantly hashtag (yeah, I’ll verb that noun) posts in hopes to be witty or clever. See a post about a hard day? #firstworldproblems. Bad joke? #imgoingtoexplainthejoke

Stop it. It is not funny. It has no use. It does not make sense.

If you want to be funny, write a funny post. This post-modern self-referential humor has a place — I will concede that — but it does not have a place outside of trusted professionals and Twitter. #whatnow

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6 thoughts on “#hashtag

  1. Sarah Bias says:

    But…it allows my brain to go on autopilot when writing Facebook statuses…and seriously, are those little quips about my what I ate, the adventures of motherhood, and my #firstworldproblems supposed to be eloquent or well versed and thought out? I will agree, that it should be commonsense to use appropriate punctuation and (even more so) capitalization, but in wading through “omg guss wha dis jerk did” and “I’m so bored right now…” I don’t think hashtags are all that bad.

  2. Josh M. says:

    Really, I am complaining just to complain. There is nothing better than to read a well thought-out and comprehensible post (hashtag or no), but hashtags just bother me. I’m not even really sure why. It makes me feel like a bit of a curmudgeon, but … #yolo

  3. Heidi says:

    I don’t do Twitter myself, but I see your point. But lots of attempts at humor are like this…they fail or are relatively mundane. However, a funny/creative hashtag can be a joke in itself or cause you to read what came before it in a whole new way. And the mark itself has transcended Twitter which is, at least, interesting from a linguistic/grammatical standpoint. I was persuaded by this piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/magazine/in-praise-of-the-hashtag.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    • Josh M. says:

      Good article! To be honest, I have not seen many of the good examples that the article listed (though it certainly gave me some new people to follow on Twitter). It’s funny, because I am usually the first person to defend the evolving English language with its highly idiosyncratic tendencies… but hashtags rub me raw.

      What I do find interesting about them is the further indication of a hyper-aware sense of humor that has become the new normal. It’s a reference within a reference referencing a reference. I suppose that the jokes that fall flat just offend me so much that I wish to write them off entirely.. 🙂

      • Heidi says:

        Hey, we all have our pet peeves! 🙂

        And yes, I think you are right about the “hyper-aware sense of humor” that is certainly ubiquitous, especially on social media. Another person I really enjoy listening to on a podcast (Glen Wheldon, from the Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast) makes the point that–for him–Twitter is all about jokes. He thinks that’s its greatest function/service (again, for him).

        Side note: if I were to start doing the Twitter thing, I am pretty sure I would *only* do it for the jokes.

  4. Josh M. says:

    Ah yes, Twitter. I use it for the occasional source of instant news as well as for the humor. Mostly just for the humor, though. That said, I only ever follow and read tweets … it’s too much pressure to write good ones!

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