Hashtag madness

Thursday, September 26, 2013 Permalink

I had a teensy rant on Twitter last night about the overuse of hashtags on Instagram. I follow a lot of people whose hashtags often outnumber their status updates and there are occasionally lines and lines and friggin’ lines of hashtags.

limit hashtags

I’m a hashtagger. But I like to think I use them wisely. Okay, so that’s probably not true… but I am not HUGELY effusive in my hashtag use. I use them in tweets to signify a topic, clarify a point, or (naturally) to say something witty or sarcastic at the end of a tweet. Now that Facebook recognises hashtags (although I’m not sure exactly how or why!?) I also occasionally use them there.

deserve a break

And sadly on the odd occasion, hashtags have slipped into my blog writing as I’ve been finding it increasingly appropriate to hashtag something that is – essentially – an ‘aside’.


I don’t use them when writing for others OR when emailing non-bloggers or those not well-versed in all-things-social media. Most of my (IRL) friends aren’t on Twitter and I’m not even sure many use Instagram, so the whole hashtag frenzy has kinda passed them by. #whichisagoodthing (See what I did there?)

Anyhoo, on waking today I came across this absolutely hilarious clip from Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake about the use of hashtags in everyday life and conversations:

After sharing it on every possible social media platform (#asyoudo) I discussed the absurdity of it via Twitter.

“As if we’d use the ‘hashtag’ symbol when speaking?!” I scoffed.

But then I remembered… INVERTED COMMAS!

Once upon a time no one could ever have imagined wiggling two fingers on each hand to indicate they were putting emphasis on a word or phrase (usually sarcastically), and yet… at one point a decade or so ago it became a big thing.

So… who knows… maybe in months or years to come we’ll be adopting Justin and Jimmy’s hashtag hand motion (which I quite like incidentally) when we speak.

A frightening concept? True. But then again, I didn’t ever think I’d be able to check out a video clip from the other side of the world on my phone AS it was being broadcast. #NeverSayNever

Are you a hashtagger?
Do you think we’ll be speaking in hashtags #anydaynow?


  • Char
    September 26, 2013

    I don’t think anyone over 50 should be allowed to hashtag. But bunny ears are a totally different thing. And sarcasm – I would have nothing to say if it weren’t for sarcasm.

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2013

      I like hashtags on Twitter and they can help clarify that you’re being sarcastic etc (140 characters can mislead others sometimes!). And don’t get me started on my other pet hate… LOL (and derivatives!). I think I wrote about it once. I’m a lover of WTF and OMG, but for some reason… LOL reminds me of internet dating sites or personal ads. #argh

  • Lee-Anne
    September 26, 2013

    Haha! (note I did not use ‘LOL’) It’s funny about our individual pet hates, I rather like LOL (but only using capitals – English teacher pedantry with acronyms) and yet I dislike OMG 🙂 I also quite like smiley faces (even though it’s a bit juvenile of me) because they’re so succinctly expressive! (dislike overuse of exclamation marks though – see it so much in teen diaries).

    Anyway, an hilarious post and clip. As one relatively new to social media I’m only just getting a handle on hashtags and on the occasions that I use them, I always feel a little corny… But you’re right, they do clarify things concisely on Twitter.

    I opened an Instagram account but haven’t used it yet as my teenage daughter told me it was too cringing “the way older people use Instagram!” LOL (sorry)

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2013

      It’s okay, I’m kind to a lot of LOL users! 😉

      I also once had a thing about smiley faces but then I realised it helped tone down my sarcastic tweets, so now I’m a fan. Plus sometimes if you’re too lazy to think of a reply you can just add a face.

      On the teaching front, I recall when my niece was little I always took great care to spell out words fully although the temptation to write ‘2nite’ etc was sometimes overwhelming!

  • Jo Tracey
    September 26, 2013

    I hashtag when I remember & my daughter & I have found ourselves lately saying stuff like “hashtag awkward…” Hubby tried to do it & we looked at each other, raised our eyebrows and said “hashtag fail”….I hear you re the lines & lines of the flipping things on instagram!

    • Debbish
      September 27, 2013

      Oh good… glad the instagram thing isn’t just me! I’ve had to unfollow some people cos their updates take up too much screen space on my phone!

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