I have been thinking about hashtags a lot recently. Being of a generation that graduated high school even before MySpace launched, let alone, the smart phone, plugged into Facebook and Twitter around the clock generation, I never really caught on to the whole hashtag thing. I will admit that almost every time I saw an Instagram post with #tbt, #selfie, #YOLO, #besties, #superlonghashtagwithnouppercaseletters, or any other string of overly descriptive words, I cringed and wanted to hit the unfollow button immediately. (I’m sorry! I mean no disrespect. I think I’m just old!)
What has changed in the last month is my understanding that hashtags are a means of organization, conversation, and interaction, that can be part of an integral learning experience both inside and outside of the classroom. #Freberg13 is the hashtag we use to share informative links, give/receive feedback, ask questions, and generally engage with peers in our social media class at the University of Louisville. We can also correspond with our professor, Dr. Karen Freberg, and other students/professionals all across the country that are following our class’ progress.
I have found it very rewarding to have access to a wealth of information that I most certainly would not have been able to find all on my own. Blog posts, articles, infographics, and videos on social media and PR, are just a few of the tools I’ve found to be right at the tip of my fingers since participating with our class hashtag. All of these links are easily able to be saved as a favorite also, meaning I can refer back to them at any point.
Without further ado, I give you a video that demonstrates perfectly why I was initially turned off to the hashtag phenomenon. I’m sure many of you have already seen it, but it’s definitely worth another look. If you haven’t watched it yet, please take a moment out of your day to do so. You wont be disappointed.
Although Jimmy and Justin are completely over the top here (not to mention hilarious), what better way to describe my previous, initial revulsion to hashtags? That being said, I’m very appreciative of my new found understanding that everything, even hashtags, can be a good thing in moderation.