# Taking Over

Clara Baldwin, Staff Member

Hashtags: one of the hottest trends in the most recent years of the 2000’s. Seems like everywhere you go and anything you use on media has these little trendy symbols. Hashtags are hard to explain to people who don’t use social media. But even as an avid twitterer/instagramer, there are times when one has to wonder who or what people are talking about when scrolling through the newsfeeds. Even Facebook has gotten in on this hot trend by recently allowing networkers to apply hashtags to their statuses as well.

What is a hashtag you ask? First of all, if you are contemplating this you need to click your heels three times and say, “I need a life.” But no worries, this article here will help you know the in and outs of the hashtag world because let’s admit it, this cyber universe of ours is taking over. Let’s begin with the basics. Back in prehistoric times we used to call the hashtag the “pound” symbol. I’m sure our children and grandchildren to come will look at us like we’re insane if we ever brought up that term in conversation. But where do hashtags came from? And are hashtags going to stick around for years to come, or are they something that we’ll regret when VH1 takes a look at the 2010’s?

Whenever a user adds a hashtag to their post, it is immediately searchable by other users with a click of a button. Once someone clicks on that hashtag, they’ll be brought to a page that displays all of the posts with the same hashtagged keyword in real-time. Hashtags have become such a common practice these days that people have started using them outside of their intended purpose. People use them in text messages, chats, songs, and even advertisements. In shows like America’s Got Talent or The Voice, an audience memeber can vote for who the person he/she wants to win through a hashtag in a tweet. Just think: either the crushing of a person’s dream or the making of a millionaire is all based on a small pound symbol.

Miranda Mattingly, a junior at Battle High, was asked what hashtags she is guilty of using. “I’ve used #throwbackthursday just today actually. It was a picture of me and my sister” she stated. Ah yes, “Throwback Thursday,” one of the most popular hashtags amongst Instagram. You post a picture of anything that’s happened in the past and share with friends every Thursday, along with the similar hashtag, “#WayBackWednesday.”

Kristen Tatters, a senior at Battle High, was also asked the same question commented, “My last hashtag was #twinning, it’s a picture of me and my friend matching clothes,” she says laughing as she scrolls through her Instagram feed.

There is obviously a huge diversity within the hashtag world, but this all brings us back to the most important question. Are hashtags here to stay? The answer is yes. They’ve become infused in our culture, and hashtags actually do play an important role on social media. Hashtags make it easier for people to categorize their posts, which in turn makes it easier for users looking for posts on the same topic to find what you want. All in all, hashtags have benefitted our social media in many ways. Except that #SELFIE song that is over played on the radio. For that, we hate you hashtag.