#Ohmygosh #haveyoureadthat? #beautiful #lolsofunny #bored

Annoyed yet? Perhaps it is true hashtags have their place, but if you’re like me and scrolling through your newsfeed on Facebook, there are some people who hashtag #every #single #word.

What started as a Twitter trend has become an overused symbol on every social media site on the planet. And many times, you could simply say the same thing without putting that pound sign in front of it.

I understand they are becoming more popular on Facebook as well as other social media websites, but there is no reason to use them more than one or two times on a status or photo. I see photos with anywhere from five to 20 hashtags being used as captions, and it’s unnecessary.

Originally, hashtags were invented to quickly and easily navigate topics and pages on Twitter, according to magazine website theweek.com. Now the same can be said of Facebook, which has recently incorporated hashtags as clickable links to other content with related hashtags.

However, more recently it has become common to use hashtags to form any random thoughts or words or phrases substituted for complete sentences. Not only is this annoying to read, but imagine if people actually spoke like this.

According to MTV.com, Chris Messina, inventor of the hashtag, said the inventors of Twitter had originally rejected the idea, saying that “it was way too nerdy and it was never going to catch on.”

Not only has it caught on, it has virtually taken over our world. Messina’s statement was in reply to an episode of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” in which Fallon and Justin Timberlake did a sketch depicting a verbal, face-to-face conversation using hashtags to show how ridiculous we all sound overusing them.

“The sort of prideful fear that I have is that what (Fallon) depicted is actually how teenagers are talking now,” Messina said. “That’s not something I had really anticipated.”

This summer at home I worked at a restaurant and many of the employees there would use hashtags when speaking to one another to get across ideas without having to form complete sentences, much like Fallon and Timberlake’s sketch. They thought it was hilarious. I, like Messina, worry that soon “hashtag talking” will become more commonplace, replacing actual conversation.

While Fallon and Timberlake did the sketch to be funny, there is more truth behind it than they may have realized. It is true, though, that hashtags do have their place in social media, especially in the music industry. Twitter in particular has allowed artists and celebrities to communicate with their fans.

In an article on marketingprofs.com, Kyle Lacy gives a whole list of ways hashtags help the music industry. Hashtags can be used as a way to promote your own music through popular
artists, create excitement for a new album release — as Timberlake himself did for his new album The 20/20 Experience Part 2 and host live Q & A’s. As well as create other fan communication and a community based on users who share the same interests.

In this sense, hashtags are a very modern way of communicating and
allowing celebrities personal communication with their fans. It is when they are used out of context or to emphasize unnecessary words they become annoying.

Don’t get me wrong, hashtags have their place and even I use them from time to time. But keep them short and sweet. There’s no need to blow up the newsfeed.

Click here for “how to hashtag” and more on the history of the hashtag.