#StopUnnecessaryHashtags

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Before I even begin this article, I’ll give full disclosure: I’m not on Twitter. Personally, I think Twitter is good for two things: breaking news and comedy. Breaking news because I like knowing things fast fast fast, and comedy because the 140 character limit makes some great one-liners (have you seen Conan O’Brien’s page? That stuff is gold). I’ll admit there are some good gag pages, and it’s pretty cool when celebrities post pictures on set, but otherwise … meh.


Twitter is kinda pointless for the common folk; honestly, how many followers do you have that aren&rsquo;t your friends? I don&rsquo;t know for sure, but I imagine a lot of people don&rsquo;t care <em>that</em> much about followers. People just do their thing and that&rsquo;s fine, but don&rsquo;t expect me to write home about it. Also, I really don&rsquo;t care if some indie musician started following you (because it was probably a courtesy follow), or if some YouTube celebrity retweeted your post. IRL, it means very little &mdash; don&rsquo;t boast about it to me. I don&rsquo;t care, and you&rsquo;re probably not putting that on your resume.&nbsp;


I&rsquo;m not on Instagram either. I don&rsquo;t know what the tagging system on there is like, but it&rsquo;s probably Tumblr-like in nature.


So what am I getting at? Well, over the summer I watched three shows: <em>MasterChef</em>, <em>The Amazing Race Canada</em>, and <em>So You Think You Can Dance</em>. And every so often during each of these shows, whenever some event happened on TV, some text would appear somewhere on the screen; a hashtag. A pretty stupid hashtag too: examples include #NoYolk (from <em>MC</em>) and #SYTYCDjazz.


Who is the team behind these hashtags? What Joe Marketing thought these were good ideas? Who the hell thought #NoYolk would start trending? These are not good tags. What are the posts to go along with these? &ldquo;Just ruined my omelette #NoYolk&rdquo; or maybe &ldquo;What am I watching? #SYTYCDjazz has seriously gone downhill.&rdquo; I guess I&rsquo;m just cynical, but honestly, WHO USES THESE HASHTAGS?


Even advertising has fallen victim to this insanity. Billboards, posters, and commericials alike have their little hashtags in the corners along with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram logos. IT&rsquo;S JUST A DUSTER FOR GOODNESS&rsquo;&nbsp; SAKE. I HAVE NO REASON TO TWEET ABOUT IT #SwifferEffect. I don&rsquo;t want to follow companies on any social media outlet &mdash; I have enough ads on my feed as it is. And what are you even posting?! &ldquo;Check out this new commercial #BuyOurStuff&rdquo; or &ldquo;Hey! There&rsquo;s a #Sale on our product at #Walmart. Check it out!&rdquo;


I&rsquo;m starting to think companies have social media outlets not for them to reach us, but for us to reach them, and sometimes to publically shame them. Sometimes good things happen when you tweet a company; once a man tweeted Moxie&rsquo;s (or some other resturant, who knows) on a flight and got a steak after he landed &mdash; that&rsquo;s pretty sweet. Sometimes people tweet bad things to companies; y&rsquo;know that merger between Tim&rsquo;s and Burger King? I bet their FB pages were littered with hate mail, but that&rsquo;s just speculation. I do know, however, people used their own Twitter and FB to voice their displeasure (yeah, because <em>that&rsquo;s</em> gonna break the merger).


I seriously, seriously think we need to limit ourselves when it comes to hashtags on Twitter. What&rsquo;s even the purpose of hashtagging? What is being accomplished? All it really accomplishes on Twitter is a search result. In fact, that&rsquo;s the only thing that it accomplishes anywhere. Some tweets are like, four words and the rest are hashtags or other handles &mdash; you&rsquo;re wasting your 140 characters dammit! Maybe you have a meaningful thought to tweet, but it&rsquo;s wasted with #YOLO or #BS &mdash; I don&rsquo;t know what the hell kids tweet these days, dangit.


Thankfully the stupid hashtags of reality/competition shows and commercials are limited to said media. Most tags outside of raising awareness (#Icebucketchallenge) or fads (#blessed) (btw, can we stop using that? Thx), are pretty normal so I have no other complaints besides STOP SAYING HASHTAG IN REAL CONVERSATIONS.


The day an automated voice over the phone tells me to hit the &ldquo;Hashtag&rdquo; button to reach customer service is the day I lose a lot of respect for society. Thankfully though, we&rsquo;re restricting the pound sign to our online conversations &mdash; for the most part.


Please stop using #IRL, it&rsquo;s not even ironic anymore.&nbsp;