Friday, March 15, 2013

Why Do We Hashtag?

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?

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