I love a good hashtag.
I love it when someone adds something snarky, witty, or ironic, mediated by that little #. I love it when the hashtag makes me snort-laugh when I’m looking at something they posted, or when the hashtag lets me see other similar pictures. I love hashtags for people’s weddings, for fun celebrations, or for places people travel. Just an added little bit of info that lets me make connections across the Internet. I love clicking on really random hashtags and seeing that someone else had the same bizarre idea. I love people who openly mock hashtags by using them on things that are in direct opposition to the tag.
There are some hashtags that I really hate, or at least profoundly judge and ridicule, rolling my eyes every time I see them. Please know- I am not judging the people using these hated hashes (can we shorten hashtag to hash- or is that some sort of vague drug reference that goes right over my head? Youths- weigh in.). Many of my near and dear add all sorts of hashtags that have me sending my eyeballs rolling back in my head Liz Lemon style.
I get it- really, I do. Instagram and the like have managed to weirdly blur personal and professional to the point where people are professionalizing their personal life and getting their weeknight picnic photos featured through clever hashtag use. Hashtags are an effective way of yelling, “LOOK AT ME-I’M KIND OF SIMILAR TO YOU AND WORTH YOUR TIME” across the internet. I’ve been there too, and will probably go there again.
But can we please just all collectively giggle at some of the more ridiculous hashtags that are so trendy and popular? Can we please all recognize that if you actually tried to understand why the hash (I’ve just decided to make it a thing) matches the gram, it often makes no sense?
And so, I give you, the hashtags that I love to hate.
#liveauthentic. Dear maker of this hashtag: YOU ARE KILLING GRAMMAR. I am not even a grammar snob, and even I can’t stomach this abuse, not to mention the strange meaning of the word you are supposedly living. Authentic is an adjective, and live is a conjugated verb, thus one lives authentically. But that in and of itself, I might be able to let slide. What I can’t get over is what is usually denoted as #liveauthentic. In my humble opinion, anything is more authentic if you don’t snap it, filter it, gram it, and riddle it with hashtags. A quick peruse through this tag will inundate you with so much perfection that you might gag.
#livefolk. See above rant about how this makes no grammatical sense. At least authentic has an adverb form… but can you do something folkly? Folkily? Help me out here. And what does #livefolk mean??? Maybe, it is the country-ish form of people, so #livefolk, could actually be correct in the sense of “people you know back on the farm who aren’t dead.” Or, if we go with the meaning I think is intended, we end up something that means “I am choosing to embrace life in a manner that aligns me with that which is beloved by ordinary people.” I can get behind that sentiment… but it is not really what I find when I go clicking on ye old hashtag. Perfectly framed mountains. Woman in all white posed angrily in front of white wall. Lots of carefully composed berry-picking experiences. And usually, #liveauthentic and #livefolk are BFF, which means we should really just combine them into #hipsterelite.
#thatsdarling. Is it now? Is it darling? Is your picture of you leaning out over a stunning mountain vista, or rowing through perfect rapids darling? If you are posting a picture of a fluffy white kitten in a teacup (as I discovered in recent hashtag exploration), than yes, #thatsdarling. It is practically the definition of darling. But if not – please choose from the wide array of adventure based hashtags at your disposal. Might I recommend #mytinyatlas or #traveldeeper, which, though still sounding pretentious and a little off to my ear (if you are traveling all over the world, your atlas is not tiny, but your phone is so I will let it slide… and you are probably not actually going DOWN deeper into the Earth, but I understand the sentiment), don’t give me full eye rolls. Or you can just be crazy and start tagging those picks #lifeadventurously and know that the full force of grammar and logic is on your side.
#darlingweekend. See above for logic, and ask yourself, is my weekend full of babies, kittens, and warm glances with my beloved? If you can answer yes, tag away. If not, ask yourself just how darling your coffee and crossed legs really are. Yes, I am fully aware that these are hashtags associated with a publication called Darling, one I actually enjoy a great deal. Doesn’t mean I can’t think they are silly. I like to think that recognizing the ridiculous even in things you love is a gift. Or curse. Or just really obnoxious to all your friends and blog readers.
#instagood. Or #instacute or #insta________ (complimentary adjective). Yes, we know you like that selfie of yourself. That’s why you shared it. Also, I see those and read them as “instantly,” like “instantly good when I added 25 filters and some blurring.” Which is usually true, so if that is why you are using it, I withdraw all sanction and applaud your honesty. You are truly #liveauthentic. (See? When you had to read it as a sentence, you threw up in your mouth a little- right?)
I could go on and on, but I will stop before I alienate even more of my favorite grammers in one post. I can’t promise that this won’t just be the first in a series of regular rants… but I’ll try to curb it in. (Side-note: when people have babies, do they get really stressed if someone has their baby/bump hashtag? Does it affect name choices??? These are the burning questions of the childless.) I still love all you goofy hashtag users, I still double tap your pics, I still follow your feeds. But I roll my eyes just a little.
And deep down, I wish that in this #instaworld (I can play this game too), that we still tried to make our words mean something. That we still tried to think on how words and art and life go together. That we still chose intentionally. I want us still to believe that all of our words deeply and profoundly matter… even the ones with the number sigh in front of them.