Folks, for those of you who truly know me, you know how much I hate the use of hash tags. I mean seriously, some of you only tell me things in 140 characters or less, and what was once relegated only to the halls of Twitter, now creeps up in every day life. People just hash tag like it's going out of style. Hash tags! Over it!
But the hash tag was not always this nefarious creature from the dark underbelly of social media. It was originally called pound, and has a significant use as the way to tell a machine you are talking to on the phone, when you are finished giving it all your personal infromation. It was the telegram of the automated customer service age! Here's my social security number (POUND) Here's my secret password (POUND) Please stop re-routing me all over the goddamn country (POUND POUND POUND POUND SMASH!)
Even in its first use in Twitter, it had a specific purpose. For people who wanted to see photos grouped together by a single theme. You see a cool picture of a dog, and you label it #puppies. Then anybody can just search for pictures of puppies. This was before Justin Bieber was born, and all future hash tags were about him only. But then people, being the insufferable fools they are, starting getting cute. No longer were hash tags used to actually re-route you to a specific group of photos. Because hash tags were being written that could never be recreated by other people! Instead of #puppies, it became #OhHeyIFoundThisPuppyOMGI'mInLove #JustinBieber. So now, what was once a tool of DISH Network customer support, is used by idiotic people to sound extremely clever.
One of the most pervasive uses I've encountered lately is the use of the hash tag on instagram. Instagram is a picture sharing tool known primarily for its many filters to make your regular ho hum picture of your sandwich you're about to eat, look like a 1930s picture taken by your grandmother in an old deli that she met your grandfather 6 years before the great war where he went off and died and all she has left was a picture from that special day's sandwich you're about to eat. But to one up the already stupid pictures of food, people's legs at the beach, and mid-air jumping photos, now people are using hash tags to brag that their photos are so amazingly spectacular that htey didn't even have to use a filter. So they're bragging that their photo has #nofilter by posting it on a website that is best known for its filters. I don't know if that's just simple bravado, or a human instinct where we try to destroy every working process in our lives. Maybe it's survival of the shittest.
But at least the internet is starting to fight back. Now a website called www.filterfakers.com allows you to call your friends out who not only use the stupid hash tag #nofilter, they actually LIE about it by secretly applying a filter. Well you can go on this website and paste the picture's URL, and the website, assuming this person doesn't have their profile all private, will tell you if they're lying or not. So that's a step in the right direction at least. Now if only there was a way to bitch slap people who over use hashtags on facebook, I would love it. Here's my homage to you hash taggers! You jorts among pants...you Miss Teen South Carolinas among people that aren't stupid as crap.