Thursday, July 19, 2012


A few years ago, I was sitting at my computer creeping on Facebook (and most likely procrastinating an essay or studying for a test) when I started to notice the reoccurring appearance of “#” on my newsfeed. Of course, I was puzzled by this because I had never seen it attached to such random phrases. What the hell does #filmfoodeating mean? 
Since its conception in 2006, twitter has transformed the usage of what used to be called a “pound key” into the now more commonly known “hashtag.” Seriously though, if you ask any middle schooler what # is called, 9 times out of 10 they will call it a hashtag. This little symbol has become a worldwide Internet sensation, not only among tweeters, but on other social media websites as well. I personally do not have a twitter account (Facebook is plenty distraction), but that does not mean I am not aware of the language of twitter. There are several statuses, intagram photos, and comments containing #s that appear on my newsfeed everyday. Additionally, some of my friends’ actual tweets from their twitter accounts show up on my Facebook. And hashtags are even being used outside of the Internet world. Just yesterday, I was talking to a friend friend from England and she said “hashtag awkward” in the middle of our conversation. I can’t imagine the kind of looks she would get if she said that pre-twitter, but now it is (almost) socially acceptable to use it in regular conversation. 
 For future generations looking back on the 2000s, I think the hashtag sensation will be a defining character of today's social media crazed society. And who knows, maybe in the future "?" will be referred to something other than a question mark. #ishouldstartthattrend


  1. I think this realization is definitely truthful. Although I do have a twitter account I do sometimes feel weird when hash tags are brought up in normal conversations. I also don't like seeing hash tags on facebook. I think they are two separate worlds and there are people that don't have a twitter for a reason. I think hash tags should stay in the twitter world and not in our normal conversations or facebook for that matter. This just goes to show how largely social media has impacted America today.

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  3. While taking a bus home from London last weekend, a friend and I began talking with two English boys who claimed to be "twitter babies." One of them asked for us to explain the concept of the hashtag. It was a lot more difficult to do than we thought it'd be. We explained how they are practically used to group tweets into a database, but most people use them for humor purposes. We also warned against the superfluous or statement of the obvious hashtag as those identify "twitter babies" right off the bat. I think it's interesting that we've begin to see such an interplay between social medias. All of a sudden, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Spotify all appear all over each others in pictures and language. I also agree that it's pretty incredible the shifting nature of symbols as a result of mass media. I think sometimes we forget their meanings aren't inherent. Maybe Mary Anne is right, and various other commonly used punctuation marks will become something else entirely.