Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon made a video to mock the #hashtag trend that has been taking over social media….and everywhere else.
The other day my mom asked me what a hashtag was and what they meant. I found myself without words to describe what a hashtag was. To me, you just knew when and what to hashtag, whether it was certain catch phrases, a theme, or a marketing campaign. They started as a method of finding these “themes” in Twitter. However, over the past couple of years hashtags have moved from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook and then into every aspect of our communication. To me, it seems like tag lines have turned into hashtags. Now, you can watch a commercial and at the end it will display a hashtag for the campaign. It has been a while since I have seen anything without a hashtag. Some hashtags can be catchy, while others can be “over the top.”
Why are hashtags so big? Because they are similar to tag lines — they are catchy and easy to promote. Similar to how “Just Do It” is a phrase that everyone knows, #MOFY for Modern Family has also become very popular. They both give us a shortcut, we enjoy everything in a short and condensed version. As information become available faster, campaigns are creating hashtags to create an image for the products they are trying to sell, or the company.
I understand that hashtags can be a vital part of a marketing or public relations campaign, but when do we draw the line? When do hashtags start taking over and destroying our language proficiency? Just as word and phrase abbreviations have changed the way we communicate (such as LOL, NBD, etc), so have hashtags. How many time can you say that you hashtagged what you wanted to say on a social media venue…or even in real life? Take a look at the video to see what Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon are getting at.