Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

The Twitter Report: Hashtag Heaven

Most people who know me know that I absolutely adore Twitter hashtags. I find them mindless, witty, and wildly entertaining. In fact, hashtags rank in my top three favorite things on the internet behind nahright.com blog comments and any sort of .gifs. I'll do my best here to translate my affinity for hashtags into words.

First, a preface for all you squares still not up on Twitter. A hashtag is a way for users to tie tweets to a larger conversation by putting a number sign before a word or phrase. This wasn’t an original offering from Twitter, but something started by users, similar to retweeting. In this most basic use, hashtags have been quite helpful for people to find information and include themselves in a global discussion. That's how it started, at least.

The most common use of a hashtag is to label a tweet. If there is an event (the VMA’s for example), using “#VMA” would include this tweet in the thread of conversation and can be followed by others or searched for later:

So, yeah- stuff like this can be fun. Hashtags really started to tickle me though when they evolved from something functional (see above… sort of) to what they are today; helpful at times, but mostly random and incredibly ignorant.

While people still use hashtags to mark conversations, they also get used to finish sentences:

… and start rap beefs.

After Kanye West joined twitter, he started #itsaprocess to justify his many misspellings on Twitter. But even that has taken a life of it’s own.

Kanye’s absurdly opulent tweets inspired the meme #predictingkanyetweets which was egged on by Aziz Ansari:

Doing searches for common hashtags is great fun. At any given time, there will be tweets tagged with classics like #fml or #ftw and newcomers like #whatpartofthegameisthat:

and #everydayb (a reference to Cam's famous line from "Paid in Full"):

When people tell me Twitter is lame, I want to hit them with a #everydayb tweet. But then I realize I have to explain the concept of a hashtag, which sounds super nerdy for people unfamiliar. But really, isn’t this stuff great?

Although I will admit that  I’ve actually started to worry that hashtags were starting to get played out; oversaturated and exploited by the unfunny masses. Then I see tweets like this and, just like that, all is right again!

What do you think? What hashtags do you like? Is Jason just a big fat dork? Tell us in the comments!

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