Hashtag Abusers


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)?

Checking In at that Concert From Your Couch?

couch cachet

I am all for social media. I have facebook, twitter, instagram, and loads of other apps that can share things with the world on my phone. I like how it keeps me up to date on what’s going on in the world, and my friend’s lives in one place. I have been known to tag my friends while out when we’re having so much fun, that I can’t resist bragging a little online. It’s fun to share our cool experiences with others.

 But there are some major negatives from all this sharing. Even Scarlett Johansson mentioned it in her interview for May’s Marie Claire magazine, talking about how we almost exploit ourselves [using social media] to feel seen. There is commonly accepted  syndrome now, FOMO (fear of missing out), that makes people feel inadequate from seeing all the fun stuff their social network is up to. There’s actually a different kind of anxiety associated with each different social media platform (even pinterest!). But I think when you keep things in perspective, social media for the most part is fun when you don’t make it your end-all, be all. The important thing to realize is that people use it to cultivate the image they want the world to see, updating when they’re happy, fun, or feeling pretty hip, not necessarily on bad hair days when they’re feeling rejected for being passed over for that party invite.

Which is why I think this new site, Couch Cachet is taking things a little too far. When you’re at home, you can plug in your address to find fun parties, shows, or events in your neighborhood, sounds good, right? But then! It checks you in at one of those events via Foursquare, while you sit on the couch- even allowing you to choose multiple stops for the night. The whole idea behind the app is to make you seem cooler on the internet than you actually are in real life by posting that you are attending fun events while you’re actually at home. It promotes lying on social media just to make your life seem more awesome, and to me, just seems like it would exacerbate FOMO if everyone starts always being 100% awesome all the time even when they’re sitting around watching another marathon of Say Yes to the Dress. And, really, what are you going to say when someone asks you how that awesome concert you (fake) raved about was?