Hashtag or # has become like common cold—Contagious and snotty. Let’s first delve into the real significance of #. It is a symbol denoting “number”. As in house#2. I know this doesn’t hold any relevance in the cyberworld but I just didn’t want to miss out on the history of this fascinating symbol. Anyway, come the age of internet and social networking, this rather casual symbol suddenly gained a greater significance. It has also degenerated to a pathetic and almost psychopathic use. I have identified and categorised five types of hastag users. I won’t bother into naming the categories because the weirdness of some of the categories makes it almost impossible.
1. The first category is of those who use it with a purpose and real sense of understanding because they seem to know why hashtags were created after all. The Twitterati definitely get the credit for popularising this concept. Just for the sake of clarity here’s a little help from twitter itself.
Using hashtags to categorize Tweets by keyword: People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search. Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
For more help you can also look up through Wikipedia.
2. The second category is of those who missed the lesson on punctuations during their English classes. I really sympathise with them because I long felt these misdirected souls should be enlightened that # is not a punctuation mark. It does not replace the good old comma, question mark or period. So those out there who have travelled to #London#Paris#Amdavad, I am glad you had fun travelling but it’s funny to read your stupidity.
3. The third and the most populous category consist of those who have forgotten the difference between ‘space’ and ‘hashtag’. Let me introduce you guys to the longest key in the QWERTY keypad. Tada!! It’s the spacebar. Please use it when you complete a word in your sentence. #You#Look#Like#A#Jackass#When#You#Do#This.
4. This category consists of those who prove how uncommon common sense is. If you have read or have been told that hashtags don’t contain spaces, then perhaps you have heard or read it correctly. Unless, you have extrapolated it to also mean there are no spaces between different hastags. Use your common sense. Please!!! A hashtag creates a keyword for ease of search and not for chaos and confusion that just portrays your dumbness. For example, #Foolish#Stupid#Dumb as against #CommonSense #Usefulness. Also when you create a hashtag, don’t split a phrase as two hashtags. If someone wants to search for APJ Abdul Kalam, #MissileMan would describe him better than #Missile #Man; unless, the person is searching for some porn, where the latter will give better results.
5. Last is the category of miscellaneous. I couldn’t broadly categorize them in any of the above groups. They know what hashtags are. They put them correctly too. But what they lack is the fear of embarrassment. They are similar to the participants of reality shows who don’t mind jumping around in their underwear to catch some attention or two. I won’t quote any examples here for the fear of losing friends. But I sincerely beg you to once again understand that hashtags create a keyword that help social network users to search similar posts, links, photos, videos etc. When you create a hashtag make sure it’s relevant to your post. It becomes a searchable word/phrase that others can see.