I don't know about you, but for a long time my various feeds were blowing up with this Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake video about #hashtags.
I don't actually use hashtags.* I can count on my hand how many times I've used a hashtag. Once I posted #YOLO with a picture on Twitter as a joke, and the other time I used #copyrightabuse as the title of a research paper. Clearly, the title of my school paper doesn't give me any hashtag-cred. I doubt my professor even understood it.
As a late-comer to Twitter, I always thought hashtags were as ridiculous as these two make them sound. Who talks like that? No one. But I know that I am in a small minority. And, as lame as I think hashtags look, I've tried so hard over the past year to understand them and adopt them.
I have various friends in the social media industries, and like a good student, I've actually read books on using social media. The consensus among everyone is a resounding: "You should use hashtags." To be fair, I do understand the benefit. Hashtags sort data and help others find whatever it is you are posting about. You can even search hashtags and find out what others are saying about whatever topic. I've seen people live tweet events using hashtags, which seems like an excellent idea. But knowing the good doesn't make me comfortable with throwing out a #hashtag in the middle of my tweet.
So, for others like me, I am going to do a two part series starting next week on the benefits of hashtags and the best way to use them. In the meantime, I will experiment with hashtags to see what works and what doesn't.
*When I started this post, that was a true statement. Since then, I have started using more hashtags, and I am pleased to say that it has greatly increased my enjoyment of Twitter.
Rachel Paxton is a typer of words in Dallas, TX.