Okay. Here’s a thing: 83% of people incorrectly use hashtags on social media. I’m convinced.
For some reason, hashtags are the most difficult thing for the general population to understand. I’d venture a guess that people are more bamboozled by hashtags than they are why warning labels haven’t been removed from hair dryers. Obviously you shouldn’t dry your hair while you’re in the bathtub, why does that need to be said?
I’m on a mission to civilize, as Will McAvoy would say. If you didn’t watch The Newsroom, I recommend you start that up as soon as possible. You’re going to be extremely disappointed with the series finale and really the third season as a whole, but it’s such a well done show that I assure you that you will be thanking me later. It makes me want to take a total left turn with my career and get back into journalism. More on that later.
No. Stop. You guys. This is not the purpose of the hashtag. Not even close. You have been doing it wrong and I will tell you why: the hashtag is a type of FOLDER. Like what you use to organize things. When I went to San Fransisco, my friend told me “I think it’s so great that you have a hashtag for everywhere you travel.” And I asked her if she knew why I did that, she didn’t.
The reason my travel and photography hashtags exist is so that they can be referenced at a later time without having to scroll through my entire feed. That’s the same reason major media networks invent hashtags they want you to use on your social media profiles when you watch a show, because all they want to do is type in that hashtag and see what pops up. They take into account what is trending and what people are talking about, sometimes they don’t even come up with the hashtag — they let us do it, they pick the one that works the best, and then they run with it.
In that same manner, people choose specific hashtags for their weddings, kids, and family gatherings or vacations so that EVERYONE can be included in a type of photo album on social media. That’s why so many brides and grooms encourage friends and families to use “their” hashtag for their wedding. It’s so that they don’t have to type in the handle of every person on their guest list to see photos that were taken at their wedding. Wanna know the best hashtag I suggested for a wedding ever? #flipthatM — Her last name was changing from McDaniel to Williams. M = W UPSIDE DOWN Y’ALL.
There’s a time and a place for ironic hashtags that are sentence fragments. It’s not on every single photo. Basically, if your hashtag sentence is more than five words, it’s too damn long. If it’s obvious and will make people gag, you shouldn’t hashtag it. If it’s an abbreviation that 75% of the population of your social circle doesn’t already know, it won’t catch on. If enough people understand a hashtag, it will spread. Hashtags are a GREAT place for puns.
Now allow me to go on a little rant about the day of the week hashtags.
#MCM = Man Crush Monday obviously he’s your man crush every day, I would hope so. You don’t need to clarify that. We get it. The point of the tag is that something about Monday is good, because we all know that Monday’s are generally a bitch. The same goes for #WCW = Woman Crush Wednesday it’s not about how you love her every day of the week, it’s the fact that the letters in said tag are a damn palindrome. It looks a crap-ton prettier than three letters that really just don’t make any sense together.
#TBT (Throwback Thursday) and #FBF (Flashback Friday) ARE THE SAME THING. Also, if you want to throw something or flash something back, it needs to be at least a week old. Hell, #latergram is a better tag for that. Wanna know why? Because you’re posting it later than it actually happened. But for the love of all that is good, pick either #tbt or #fbf because we get it: you love your baby pictures. So do we, but not more than once a week.
#SelfieSaturday or #SelfieSunday is horse shit. Just tag #selfie. Or don’t. Because we know it’s you. I admit, sometimes I do it. I hate myself when I do.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit, some hashtags take a little time to decipher. But the overall POINT of the hashtag is to simplify social media for businesses and media and people in general.
fucking folders. Thanks for listening.
Disclaimer: Do whatever you want. This is America.