Hashtaggin’ It

#WakeUp #Bedtime #Readinginthelibrary #Hashtag #Eatingbagels #Hashtaggin’

People love to use hashtags. They sum up all of your feelings and what you’re about in a single word (often multiple single words). Instead of saying, “I feel very good this morning. I feel confident and full of energy. I am going to have a productive day!” you can take a selfie and slap a #Bold #Ready on it.

Language is a beautiful and amazing thing. You could say that language is alive. It is constantly changing and evolving. New words are created, and the meanings and definitions of words can change over time. It’s really interesting to watch. Shakespeare alone invented or reinvented over 1,700 words in the English language.

Could hashtaggers influence the English language like Shakespeare did? No. Well, I hope not. Hashtags could reduce English to semi-ambiguous sentence fragments. Maybe that’s a little extreme, but it’s becoming common practice to boil complete ideas down to pithy little hashtag-emblazoned nuggets (although I’m not sure how much pith is there).

Hashtags allow people to express themselves in as few words as possible. But not in the same way that cowboys use few words, little gnomic lines like, “The desert changes a man” that imply a learned understanding of the world. “#Springbreak” implies that you’re not really sure how you feel. You feel spring break. Spring break is not a feeling.

Hashtags aren’t useless, but they aren’t always used properly. If you take a picture of your cat and tag it with “#Cat,” I applaud you. You correctly used a hashtag. You joined the great online cat conversation and now all the other cat lovers on the internet can search for “cat” and find a picture of your beloved Fluffy.

But if you take a picture of your flat tire and ornament it with “#OMG #Thisistheabsoluteworst #Bucketsoftears”, you’re just hashtaggin’ –using hashtags for the sake of using hashtags.

But hey, #That’sYourPrerogative.






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