I love social media as much as the next iPhone owner, but I have to agree with this spot-on article from NY Mag, The Cut that the little tool known as the hashtag may have gotten a little out of control. Previously used as a media tag to group together tweets of a common theme, it has exploded into verbal conversation (you know you have a friend who says hashtag out loud before making a witty comment), facebook posts, and of course instagram. The author goes into the main 7 ways that people abuse hashtags, and friends? I have seen every single one pop up in my feeds.
There’s the hashtag stuffer, who adds a hashtag to about 20 random words with each post, and the aforementioned verbal hashtagger who uses the word out loud, in public. Then comes the HashtagStringer who is known for making funny comments into one long run on tag- funny? Yes. Gets old? Sure. There are the hack-taggers, who coopt company created hashtags (like #McDStories) for their own ironic use – typically in opposition to its original intent. Or there is the friend known as the hash-swagger who hashtags just to let you know they are at an event cooler than one you will ever attend like #cannes or #aspen. Finally, the hashtag is used as a self-expression crutch. It’s the new parenthetical reference that clarifies what you wanted to say with a little addendum to what you actually said. All in all, there are so many ways that hashtags are used outside of the way they were originally intended that will make you laugh, and cringe.
What’s the most common way you see hashtags used (or abused)?