Millions–no this isn’t meant to reflect how much the next PowerBall is worth or how many times an overprotective mother will call to make sure you are okay while you are away on vacation. This is how many times hashtags are shared over the course of a day within the insta-information highway that is social media. When Chris Messina, a Google employee, invented hashtags, I am sure it was not intended to become a pillar or everyday social language, or even one that seeped into face-to-face conversations between youngsters and adults trying to be hip. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s comedic short on the topic of hashtag use during normal conversation was pretty much a PSA, folks. Just don’t do it.
However, this hasn’t been the only faux pas of these lingual emoticons. What was once designed to be a way to help highlight connections and spread word of a meaningful cause, cancerously spread into a societal Frankenstein of weird, random and just plain dumb. While some of these only see their fifteen minutes of fame, there are some that overstay their welcome. For example the old misused golden “hall pass” #YOLO. It seems that this gave the questionable-minded population a pass to pull off some pretty reckless stunts. “You only live once”, means make the most of your life while you have it, not tuck and roll out of a car going 80 mph.
Of course, there are a number of other hashtag trends that will leave their mark in the hashtag hall of fame and still some that have not made their way into the spotlight yet. Whatever the case may be, it seems hashtags are here to stay at least for now…and thus dumb trends are here to stay too.