Vocal Hashtags

With the explosion of Twitter as a light-speed social networking site, the modest pound symbol has found its way into everyday conversation, adding a new level of #ohnoshedidnt to the halls of Ames High. When one tweets, therefore becoming a Twit, Twitterer, Tweeter, etc., one must provide an update of one’s thoughts at the moment in the most interesting way possible in less than 140 characters to inspire people to “€˜follow”€™ you.

As interesting as that sounds already, the modest tweet can be spiced up with the addition of a hashtag, the new, cooler name for the pound symbol (#). By this adding of a hashtag to the beginning of a word or phrase, such as #winning, other users of the Twitter site can view others who have tagged the same word/phrase in the tweet. This may sound like great fun and games, however there is a dark side to this phenomenon.

When the precious hashtag is uttered out loud, it loses its qualities of coolness. Basically you sound like a loser. Saying “€œHashtag, winning!”€ you just earned yourself the silence and weird looks that will undoubtedly follow your outburst. #yikes. (You aren’€™t reading this out loud, are you?)

I understand that social networking sites have changed our everyday lives, and they have definitely changed our vocabulary. But not to become obnoxious! The line between twitter and the real world needs to be respected. What is a useful tool for upping social status does not have the same effect in conversation.

However, the versatile hashtag can be exercised in many other ways. Consider using it as a tiny tic-tac-toe board, as a reference to a number, or even to (gasp) check your voicemail! Never even thought about the last two! And the sharp symbol in music is an entirely different thing. Trust me. Hashtags are a great addition to Twitter, but they should be used for good. Save us all an #awkwardmoment and keep them on the screen.