Pound Sign

The pound sign is popular again.  It's not just a button on the phone to press after you've entered your password for your voice mail.  Twitter started it and now it's slowly made it's way over to Facebook.  One follows every sentence or statement with the aforementioned "Pound Sign".  For argument's sake, here it is: #.

Wait.  You're telling me that's called a hashtag?  The lady on my voice mail does not say "Please enter your password followed by the hashtag."  Maybe I should write a letter to the phone companies and ask them to change their automated voice recording.  It would really clear things up for me.

Okay, I've used the hashtag plenty of times on Twitter and perhaps once or twice on Facebook.  For the most part, I use the hashtag when I'm discussing something that's trending on Twitter.  I do this in hopes of simply getting my tweet noticed.  It's that simple.  Nothing more or nothing less.  Okay, maybe I also do it once in awhile to be obnoxious.  I'll admit that.  I'll also admit that years ago I wrote a blog about how I didn't really understand Twitter and that I would never use it.  Of course, I buckled.  I would say that I'm not an excessive user of Twitter, but I do go through spells on there in which I'll post consistently for a few days.  A lot of it is to promote this blog or other projects I'm working on.  Mostly it's to follow celebs, friends, and news outlets to see what's going on in the world. 

With the hashtag making it's way into various forms of social media and entertainment, I see a future of articles, essays, and short stories incorporating the hashtag and various other Twitter symbols to sell and promote their work.  It might be the only way a younger generation can fully appreciate writing.  As an experiment, I will be using the first paragraph of a writing session I did earlier this morning.  Let's see what happens.

"I have been staring at this blank canvas of a notebook for thirty minutes now.#WastingTime  There is so much to discuss, but the thoughts just won't formulate.#MathSucks#FormulateThis The coffee has certainly helped to make me more alert.#CoffeeRules It's the music of @BenHarper blaring on my Ipod that pulls me in the other direction.#Music#BenHarper#Apple Instead of focusing on the many topics of the pop culture world, I drift away to a place of self introspection#PopCulture#Writing".

I certainly hope this does not happen.  I do believe the hashtag can be helpful when promoting something like an event or a project you're working on.  To what extent it helps, I don't know.  I will continue to use the hashtag when I feel like it, especially when it comes to the Sharknado movies. I just hope there doesn't become a day when people rely on the hashtag to fully understand what a sentence is trying to convey.  If that happens our days as a verbal society may indeed fall by the wayside. 

*To see my hashtagging in action you can follow me on Twitter @jasonrh_78.  I promise to only hashtag when absolutely necessary.

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