10 Sep

hashtagI am not against change. I try to keep up with our language and how it evolves. One of the beauties of language is how it is ever-changing.

However, some trends are run into the ground and just plain annoying, IMO. The ubiquitous use of the “hashtag” has gotten out of control.  I hear it on TV, see it in print newspapers, on Twitter, movies, radio, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, etc. The list goes on.

Hashtags date back as early as 2007, but they have exploded as a means of communicating in the last couple of years. According to Wikipedia, it is a form of metadata. “This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. Tags are generally chosen informally and personally by the item’s creator or by its viewer, depending on the system.”

And herein, lies what I object to in using hashtags. The informal creation of ridiculously-named hashtags to voice opinions. #idontlikehashtagssodontusethembecausetheyarestupid would be a hashtag I create. Not elegant enough for me, I guess.

I googled “hashtag abuse” and came up with a lot of links! One article, in particular, states, “When anyone uses a hashtag (simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic and to begin a conversation) on a website, text message, or anything that does not pertain to Twitter. This is quite annoying considering hashtagging only works on Twitter.”

Here’s an article from Chris Messina, an engineer generally considered the creator of hashtags, talking about abusers.

And here’s where 7 Hashtag Abusers are listed. I love the verbal hashtagger because I’ve heard so many celebrities do this.

Let me have it with both barrels. Do you use hashtags? Do you like them as a useful search tool?


Posted by on September 10, 2013 in Idaho, twitter


Tags: ,

13 responses to “#annoying

  1. Corina Mallory

    September 10, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    I do use hashtags! But I only use them on Twitter. On Twitter they actually serve a useful function. I use them to find interesting tweets, by people I don’t follow, about conferences, current events, publishing Q&A sessions like #askeditor, etc. There was a FASCINATING one a while ago started by a woman of color called #solidarityisforwhitewomen that produced some brilliant and really thought-provoking commentary on the intersection of feminism, racism, and the class divide. I never would have known about this conversation without the hashtag.

    I also find that the constantly updated list of popular hashtags is an interesting (and sometimes depressing) barometer of what people are interested in and talking about on any given day. It’s like a stock market ticker for social capital.

    I also use the kind you hate, random hashtags that don’t actually index anything, because they’re an economical way to deliver the punchline to a joke where your space is limited to 140 characters. I find the migration of hashtags from Twitter to spoken conversation and other services where it doesn’t actually DO anything but punctuate a joke more intriguing than irritating. (Though I do find it a little irritating too.) I think it’s a very of-its-time linguistic tic and I’m curious to see whether it evolves or just fades away.

  2. Janis McCurry

    September 10, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    I vote for fade away! I agree that if it stays for the purpose of searching on Twitter, it is a valuable tool. But, the old saying, “Less is more,” doesn’t seem to hold much sway over people. The abusers who use it for any old purpose or because they “think” it shows they are cool are the ones that annoy people like me. 🙂

  3. Stephanie Berget

    September 10, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    I’d love to use more hashtags on Twitter, but it seems I push Tweet then remember that I can use them. I have never understood using hashtags other than of Twitter. I didn’t know there were websites for hashtag abusers. It’s kind of like Al Anon–Hash Anon.

  4. Janis McCurry

    September 10, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    True! Thanks for the laugh.

  5. Judith Keim

    September 10, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I don’t use hashtags and rarely use them on Twitter because though I am on Twitter, it’s not too often that I go to the site. I find Twitter frustrating because it’s so random. Hmmm what what hashtag I could use for that!

  6. Janis McCurry

    September 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    I’ve never used the # search function on Twitter, mostly because I don’t have a smart phone, so I only sign into Twitter when I’m home at my computer. The search function sounds efficient. It’s the other uses that get dicey with me.

  7. marsharwest

    September 11, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    #s defeat me. I’m much fonder of FB for having any kind of “real” conversations. Though Corina seems to have found a way to do that. I’ve been posting here with you guys for more than a year now, maybe going on to two. What would be one thing you’d say you know about me from my postings here? LOL I’m long-winded. Right! Twitter is tough for me. Groan! I hate to think it’s an age thing. 😦 I’ve going to try using hashtags tomorrow or Friday when I announce about my second book. A friend told me ones to use. I’ll let you know how it works out.
    Janis, does it bother you when people finger quote? It’s kind of the same thing, but we’ve been doing it longer. Always fun to chat with y’all. 🙂

  8. Janis McCurry

    September 12, 2013 at 7:03 AM

    Ah, yes, finger quotes. I think that’s an age thing as well because I work at a University and I can’t remember seeing a young’un use them. So, they are few and far between in my ordinary world.

    • marsharwest

      September 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Sigh! Another “age” sign. Ha!

  9. Peggy Staggs

    September 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Since I’m not a twitter user, I’m tired of hearing “hashtag.” It sounds like a food born illness.

  10. maryvine

    September 19, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    I don’t have time to learn another language 🙂

  11. Janis McCurry

    September 19, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Exactly. There’s always something new. Brings new meaning to the phrase, “Just say no.”


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