Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Technology advances, society slowly accepts, and new norms are formed along with (in my opinion) grievous habits. The culprit: incorrect use of the hashtag/#.

I'm no social media guru but it's my general understanding (and reconfirmed by the excellent source that is Wikipedia-tangent, you won't find scholarly links here) that the point of a hashtag is to document, archive, and group discussions.

I want to put a hot fire poker through all of the Instagram photos, tweets, and Facebook users who essentially slap that pound sign on a sentence and call it a day. Few things annoy me more. Furthermore, the hashtag function is not supported on Facebook. While I get that Instagram and Twitter feeds auto post there for some, eyes are still rolling.

I'm hopeful that anyone new (toddlers, seniors?) to using these mediums might research the proper use (hah) of the hashtag, and Google might bring up this little exercise. I've heard the argument the great and mighty "they" have tossed around the idea of getting rid of cursive. While I don't agree with that potential decision, maybe a social media lesson is in order, as it's certainly not going away.

Exhibit A: A photo taken on the third best day of my life, meeting Ina Garten.

Possible hash tags for people searching to learn more about Mrs. Garten from the photo that I did Instagram: #InaGarten, #BarefootContessa, #FoolproofBookTour2012. All of these hash tags could be archived for someone just learning about the fabulous Ina, wanting information about her books, or a fellow fan(atic.)

Incorrect hash tags might be #InaandJeffrey4eva, #oopsmybrastrapisshowing, #TodayIMetInaGartenAndItWasAmazing, or #InLineToMeetInaGarten!. The latter two are sentences-just caption the picture that way! The first needs no explanation. Never do that and curse your 13-year-old self for ever writing in that manner.

Does every picture really require a hash tag? Break the habit.