LUV - Gord bless whoever invented Twitter hashtags.
Sure, they’ve become an indicator of unmerited smugness in that some people will append “#win” to tweets about having successfully cooked their own dinner, as if providing for themselves past the age of 18 is actually an achievement worth trumpeting. And yes, whinges about public transport/weather/colds will often come accompanied with a mimsy little “#fail”, as if the sentiment of the missive itself isn’t a clear enough indicator that the tweeter in question has fallen into the habit of utilising social media exclusively to document all the dreary inconveniences they encounter (and tacitly assumes that someone, somewhere is actually clicking on these moantags to get an update on all the worldwide bellyaching being spewed into the digisphere).
But listen. If you’re using something like Tweetdeck, the filter function, combined with hashtags about things that make you want to hammer a nail directly through your cornea into your cranium (but which frustratingly come from people you don’t want to/don’t feel you can unfollow), allows you to remove all these nagging annoyances toot sweet.
Let’s say you’re following a web maven who can’t not update the world about every sentence uttered at the “event” he’s attending. You simply filter “#DouchewadBlowhardFest2011” and, jusslikethat, you need endure no more opining on how Gumpr’s changing of their location-based app’s sharing settings is “a game changer”. Bliss.
Ooh, speaking of which – praise Yahweh for the fact that Sundays tend to see a breakout of Sunday lunch-related updates tagged with “#bliss”. Filtering “#bliss” is a terrific way to bypass all manner of smugageddons, such as: drinking in a beer garden with good friends on a sunny day; snuggling up on the couch with one’s beloved; eating a nice piece of cake. What I’m saying here is: up yours with your friends, and your drinks, and your cake. #Up. #Yours.
Wh?? You think I’m jealous because I wasn’t invited and I never get to see the sun or have a drink with people or eat nice cake or do snuggles, and I instead sit in a darkened room in an increasingly filthy onesie leisure suit of a weekend, watching Hollyoaks from dawn to dusk? It’s funny that you think that. It is.
And the hashtag situation just keeps getting better. Now that TV shows have started telling you what hashtags to use when complaining about the programme you’re watching (what does it say about you that you continue to watch the item in question while talking about how shit it is? That’s a topic for another day), you basically just need to create a list of filters based on ITV’s entire programming schedule to ensure that your precious eyes are never again offended by the 140-character mind-dribbles of those who tune in.
Yes, in case you were wondering, my feed is entirely empty because I’ve filtered everyone out. Everyone. Twitter is now my online isolation chamber, and it’s #bliss.
- Stuart Waterman
HAT - If you like hashtags, there’s a very good chance that your Linkedin profile is full of sphincter-wringing buzzwords like ‘community manager’ and ‘web content strategist’. Your Twitter bio probably says that you’re passionate about SEO. When you talk, it’s likely that everyone around you begins to glaze over as they quietly fantasise about pushing you into some sort of acid bath. If you like hashtags, then basically you’re the world’s worst kind of abruptly hopeless arsehole.
The point of hashtags is - or at least was - so you can read everything that everyone on Twitter has to say about a particular subject. So, for instance, click on #Leveson and you’ll theoretically be able to get a snap take on what people make of the phone hacking inquiry at any given point in time. But that’s not quite how it works any more. Now hashtags have almost exclusively become the realm of people I violently dislike. Here are some of the hashtags I hate most:
1 - TV hashtags
I don’t mean organically-occurring hashtags here. I’m all for people becoming so enraged by MasterChef that they leap onto Twitter and bellow “Fond-UNT. It’s pronounced Fond-UNT, Gregg, you inconsolable bellend #MasterChef” because that’s funny. But when TV shows make up their own clumsy hashtags, and then jizz them across the bottom of the screen during its broadcast, expecting people to use them, it makes my soul cry.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people do like starting tweets with #BBC2011PanoramaSpecialReportWithJohnHumphriesBBC. What do I fucking know, eh?
2 - Celebration hashtags
There are three levels of evil when it comes to marking personal celebrations on Twitter. The first is simply telling people that it’s your birthday or wedding day because - let’s be serious - you’re just some tool off the internet and I don’t know you, let alone care about whether it’s your fucking birthday or not. After that comes linking to some sort of online wishlist, which instantly singles you out as a horrible grasping dickhead. And third, most evil of all, is creating your own hashtag to allow others to join in with your personal joy.
You write #Jenniferis24, I read #Jenniferdeservestodieinafire. And I’m right.
3 - #Justsaying
The fastest way to look like a borderline-inbred Jeremy Kyle subject in all of the internet.
4 - All trending hashtags ever
Never look at the trending subjects on Twitter if you’re in any way feeling even slightly good about the universe. They’re all invariably racist (#ThingsBlackPeopleDo), sexist (#WomenWhoDon’tCook), a combination of the two (#HowWhiteGirlsKiss) or a miserable request to change one word of a songtitle to ‘Pantyliners’. They could replace all of the trending subjects on Twitter with a sign reading ‘Most people are legitimately dreadful’ and nobody would ever notice.