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.