The Love, the Hate, the Hashtags

– Posted in: Blogging, Complaining, Media, Tammy Thinks

One thing I love about my readers is that a lot of you are just like me: sort of out-of-it. And I say that with oodles of love in my heart because, like I said, I’m truly one of you. I mean, by the time I got wind of the whole honey badger deal, there were already people with names like “Mama Badger Don’t Give a Damn” and 100,000 followers on their Facebook pages…

So even though most of the planet has already seen this video of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon talking in hashtags, I thought I’d share it. Because if you’re anything like me, you might actually have missed it.

If I didn’t blog, I probably wouldn’t even know what a hashtag is. My husband is one of those guys who gets irritated when TV shows stick them in the corner of the screen. We are not cool. We still use words like “cool” to describe things that are “cool.”

Anyway, for the benefit of those who may not know, a hashtag is what all of we old people used to call a number sign: #. Nowadays, it’s used on social media sites to let other people know when you’re talking about a certain subject. For instance, right now, I might hashtag this #educationforgeezers. And as you can see, like almost every other word created or made popular in the new millenium, it’s disturbingly been turned into a verb.

Hashtags are all about picking through the haystack to find the people and subjects you’re interested in. As a result, folks will throw out as many needles as they can to get you to “Pay attention! Pay attention to me!” Sometimes you’ll even run into obsessive compulsive people who hashtag #every #single #word in their #twitter #bios and #posts. And no, that isn’t weird, irritating, or hard to read. No, not at all.

I have a sort of love/hate relationship with hashtags. Part of the reason for the hate is that I just suck at Twitter. It’s always seemed like Facebook on speed. I feel like I’m on one of those moving sidewalks at the airport, but instead, it’s in a grocery store, and I’m trying to do all my shopping while ripping down the aisles and searching desperately for Honey Bunches of Oats.  The whole time, I’m just hoping that 1) I’ve grabbed the right cereal, 2) I haven’t missed anything, and 3) I didn’t knock a bunch of stuff off the shelves that’ll cause a huge mess and piss everybody off.

I should’ve mentioned in my #educationforgeezers section that hashtags can also be used as a sort of afterthought, thus adding to the “feeling” of a post. One of your more annoying examples would be when a person does something extremely stupid and then follows it up with #YOLO (you only live once). The entertaining part is that you can almost hear them muttering, “Der,” as they’re typing it.

This afterthought business is actually why I like hashtags — at least it gives me a place to put my sarcasm. It’s the little tip of the hat or roll of the eyes that readers sometimes can’t see when you’re just writing it straight. It’s either that or emoticons. And yes, I realize that’s sort of like the choice between listening to a kid play the violin for an hour or watching episodes of Caillou.

But then there’s tagging (subject tagging, not graffiti tagging). That part kills me. For one, I’m terrible at figuring out what my writing is “about.” I start running in circles — should I stick this under #moms or is that totally sexist? I mean, I’m sure #dads would be interested in this. So okay, I’ll do #kids. But do people search #kids or #children? Or maybe it should just go under #parenting. But, oh crap, that’s too long and puts me over 140 characters…

And what about tags like #funny and #humor? I mean, just because I crack myself up doesn’t mean other people are going to think I’m funny. They may think everything I write is kind of #painfullylong. Or #5minutesthatsgoneforever. Or #justplainsucks.

If only I could stick to one topic.

Maybe I should check out honey badgers.

 

The Love, The Hate, The Hashtags

 

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18 Comments… add one

Cheryl S. October 3, 2013, 6:00 am

Okay, I have never seen that honey badger clip, and now? It’s my favorite thing. And thank you for the hashtag tutorial for geezers. :) I, too, am not a fan of tweeting, or twerking. I’ll stick to posting. #overthehill

Tammy October 3, 2013, 11:35 am

Honey badger is one of the best things on this planet.

Why do I feel like tweeting and twerking are going to find their way together somehow and then the universe is going to explode?

Barb Muscutt-Peters October 3, 2013, 8:48 am

I am NOT a fan of Twitter. I do NOT “tweet” and I’m sick to death of everything being hashtag this and hashtag that. And I, like your hubby, can’t stand all the hashtag comments that pop up on the TV. I guess I haven’t stepped as far into the 21st century as I thought!!

Tammy October 3, 2013, 11:36 am

I’m starting to think that’s something to be proud of.

Polly Elledge October 3, 2013, 8:24 pm

#didn’tknowdidn’tcarenowIdoit’syourfault

Tammy November 6, 2013, 5:04 pm

#sorry

Beverly October 6, 2013, 2:47 pm

I just nominated you for A Versatile Blogger Award – A gracious way to acknowledge others and their Blogs. http://ittymac.wordpress.com/

Tammy November 6, 2013, 5:05 pm

Thanks Bev! You’re always so sweet to me!

Andrea October 16, 2013, 7:29 am

I love hashtags when they’re used against what they’re meant for – giving a broad subject for searchers. I do it because I’m old, but also because I’m kind of immature. #Imkindofajerksometimesdonttellmymom
Andrea recently posted..When they said I should help my children succeed in school, I didn’t think that they expected ME to be a straight-A studentMy Profile

Tammy November 6, 2013, 5:06 pm

#Iknowexactlywhatyoumeanitswhywerefriends

Vinma November 6, 2013, 4:54 pm

haha Exactly my feelings! I lived a long time playing with Twitter ‘hashtag-less’. and then suddenly one day, it dawned on me, the divine importance of hastags. I try to use it as best as I can, but some times I just loose it lol

Tammy November 6, 2013, 5:07 pm

Someday — SOMEDAY — the skies will open up and I will “get it.” My kids seem to be picking this stuff up, so maybe they can teach me.

Cher November 6, 2013, 6:37 pm

LOL! When people call the pound (#) sign a “hashtag”, it is the same as calling a standard screwdriver a “flathead” screwdriver. It kinda drives me nuts!! I may use hashtags in my posts but I never call a standard screwdriver a “flathead”! (Loved your article!!)
Cher recently posted..Build a Tall ChestMy Profile

Tammy November 6, 2013, 10:24 pm

Oh great — now I’m sitting here, racking my brain, trying to remember what I call that type of screwdriver. Because of course now that you SAID that, I can’t actually remember.

Poppy November 6, 2013, 7:43 pm

I didn’t actually miss the clip, I just never clicked on it. #Toobusy. I just did though and I was actually laughing and my husband stared at me like I was crazy. #notcool.
Poppy recently posted..Would You Survive a Zombie Apocalypse Fun Run?My Profile

Tammy November 6, 2013, 10:26 pm

My husband often stares at me like I’m crazy. And now the kids have started.

Alison November 8, 2013, 4:05 am

#LoveThis #Awesome
#BloggingIsInsane
#HashtagWhore
Alison recently posted..549 DaysMy Profile

Tammy November 8, 2013, 9:55 am

#Thanks
#Iagree
#Notaboutthewhorepart

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