I originally understood hashtags on Twitter and Instagram as a functional way to link your personal experience to a larger shared experience. This is in line with the positive sociological trend, towards a more global consciousness, that I wrote about a few years ago.
Then people began to be clever; creating unlikely tags, daring you to click and find out whether anyone else in the world had concocted such a string of characters.
But then the meme made a radical evolutionary jump that left me awestruck.
Someone intentionally wrote a status update on Facebook followed by a series of hashtags. Not because it provided any functional linking, but because it was a way to provide commentary.
Digital social networks are changing us in a way that is compelling us to provide witty commentary on our own commentary before anyone else can.
And it is the sociological significance of this that I am still grappling with. Honestly, I'm struggling to find a positive take on this trend. Thoughts?