Ponderings of The Smirt Kid: The rise and #fail of the octothorpe

Rant alert! I will say from the beginning that this blog is a rant on ‘hashtagging’. If you don’t know what hashtags are then; firstly I am surprised you are reading this as this phenomenon has exploded worldwide. Secondly where have you been hiding to avoid seeing hashtags?! For those that don’t know what I am referring to, I am talking about these symbols ‘#’.

This symbol, originally known as the ‘octothorpe’ has been around for years -you may have previously known it to be the number symbol or the pound sign. It is debated as to how the name developed, but the ‘octo’ relates to the symbol having eight points to its shape.

Today the octothorpe is universally recognized as the hashtag as it is usually followed by a word of sequence of words that almost act as a short-term library or catalogue if you will. We are bombarded with hashtags on a daily basis, whether you like it or not. If you hadn’t noticed before, I guarantee after reading this you will. From posters displayed to flyers handed to you, the hash symbol is popping up everywhere. You won’t miss it, especially as now they are even said on the radio show you may be listening to and shown of the TV show you might be watching. However, if you have managed to evade this epidemic, I ask you: “How have you achieved this? You deserve some kind of award.”

To tell you the truth, I don’t have a problem with hashtags. I actually find them useful and it has added the element of “trending” to happen on Twitter.

Okay, ‘so why is this a rant on hashtags?’ you may be asking. I’m being honest with you the reader, my pet peeve, as so to say, is hashtags used out of context. In particular, when used on Facebook. It is pointless! When a Facebook status appears in my ‘news feed’ that is full of ‘octothorpes’ I am overwhelmed with the urge to *scream* at them for their disregard or ignorance to social networking conduct.  Hashtags don’t work on Facebook and many other websites, it’s as simple as that. If you want to use hashtags, then I suggest moving to Twitter or any other site that allows you to use hashtags in a beneficial way. 

Whilst on the other hand it’s perfectly acceptable, in my eyes, if the person in question has their Facebook and Twitter accounts linked. But it is often the case that perpetrator does not have or use Twitter. “Your words are not hyperlinked to all those octothorpes that you have in your status there” is what I feel like replying to the posts that do it… I won’t be surprised if my friends on my friend list read this and start to hashtag their posts to annoy me but hey ho. Rant over.

For a list of sites where hashtags work and have a purpose visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashtag#Websites_that_support_hashtags

 Now I’m going to go and have a smirt day. I hope you will too 🙂

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