I admit to using hashtags. I used them when I was tweeting during #Sharknado3 (and 1 and 2). I use hashtags when I am in a Twitter chat and in occasional blog posts. I also use them in Instagram — it’s the best way to get your photos found. Do I use hashtags to denote my every Facebook post? No. Have I ever written #havingdinnerwithfamily it’s #deliciousandhomemade and #wowgrowninmyowngarden? As they said in Sharknado 3, “hell no.” Why? Because frankly I use hashtags when it makes sense. Is anyone ever going to be searching any of the above hashtags? Not likely.
Hashtags are used on several social media platforms as a way to follow conversations you’re interested in. To join in a Twitter chat or to jump on a trend. I don’t look at a hashtag a a measurement by which I gauge my life.
Maybe I am too old. I am a Boomer after all, but I remember “back in the day” when a hashtag was called a “number sign.” or the “pound” symbol. The # indicated a measure of weight. As a journalist I used it to indicate the end of an article. The hashtag indicated to the editor that the article was at an end and could be laid out on the page. The hashtag aka pound symbol is what you used to navigate telephone menus.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you’re #havingdinnerwithfamily shouldn’t you be putting the smart phone away and having dinner with your family? Talking with them. Asking them how their day was rather than showing the world what you’re doing? Does writing #havingdinnerwithfamily mean anything to anyone other than the person who types it? I think not.
Consider this, if you’re so obsessed with the hashtags of your life, you’re not engaged in the life you’re living, are you? Being engaged in the life I am living is a lesson learned during my breast cancer battle and it is one that has stayed with me.
When I #walkthedog (which by the way I wouldn’t say because I would always be walking Henrietta, the diva poodle… not “the dog”) I am walking The Hen I am enjoying the walk. I am #gettingawayfromthecomputer for goodness’ sake! When I am out in nature I try to enjoy it. Actually, that is a lie. When I am out in nature I am ever vigilant for any critter ie bug, spider or bee that might be looking to snack on me.
Do I use hashtags in my daily life. Yes. Have I used hashtags to talk about my life? You bet. When I am blogging about #breastcancer or #BabyBoomer issues, I want to be part of the conversation and I want my comments found and followed.
When I am #havingfunwithfriends or #watchingamoviewithfamily I want to be present and enjoying those moments because, unlike a hashtag, they are fleeting.