Huffpost Parents
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Sukey Forbes Headshot

Can We Talk About Hashtags?

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

2014-03-10-mariannegranumwhatarehashtagsandhowtousethem.png

Can we talk about hashtags? I know I'm an #oldfart, and if for a nanosecond I forget that wee fact my teens remind me in a flash #geezermom. But I don't get hashtags.

They've been around a while in computer programming and my understanding is they started out their life in social media as a way of cataloging information so everyone could, for example, share pics from events such as #jacobsbris #Unclejoesfuneral #granniespoledanceathon and pull them all into one feed. That said, do we really all need to archive our sorority sister's photos of us as an ectomorph with a bad perm back in the 80s on #throwbackthursday? #damagecontrol #whatwasithinking

At this point hashtags seem to be used for punctuation and emphasis rather than archiving #totalloser, #hotdate #outtahere #crazydiet #wtf #Obsolete

They now come with etiquette (no more than a max of three per post #hashtagetiquette #NBmyfriends (NB is latin for Nota Bene as in #takenote) or do we not use Latin anymore because who needs etymology anyway and let's just abbreviate more and use hashtags and #butcherwords. #laterByron #seeyaShelley #I'mjustsayin' #etymologyschmetemology

My take on hashtags? #hashtagssuck #cutitout. #IMHO they are just another way of devolving our lovely language into some shorthand robotic impersonal form of communication. What's next? Hashtag Haiku? #WhatwouldByronsay #prosebegone #ettubrute? Hashtags are rapidly becoming part of our low brow lexicon. I mean, why talk when we can post? And why speak in full sentences when we can abbreviate phrases and words to within an inch of their meaning? #legit #getoveritmama #wickedgoodenglish #highhorse #Godimissbillsaffire

Can we start a revolution dear friends? No more hashtags for emphasis! Shall we keep them just for archival purposes? And while I'm on the subject of archives, how many of you actually ever search by those hashtags? Sure, I see their purpose if you are looking for updates on political crises or scandals or searching for your latest celebrity crush or favorite author (that would be me, right? #buymybook #Theangelinmypocket #shamelessplug) but for emphasis on your 140 character twitter feed? Come on people, let's just learn to be more careful about our words rather than being sloppy #ditchthehashtag #wordparsimony

OK fine. Stepping down off of soapbox. #pedantic #oldfart #technoweanie #losermom #attitudeproblem #kidsrollingeyes