Since their inception back in 2007, hashtags have become a staple of our social media existence. They allow users to discover and contribute to a rapidly emerging global dialogue simply and instantaneously. And guess what – they can also help make life darn hilarious…
While there may be less Twitter users than Facebook users there is one advantage they have over their social networking rivals – trending hashtags. Yes, we know that you can use hashtags on Facebook – but how many of us would admit to kind of wishing we still couldn’t? A few years ago when Facebook users included hashtags in their status updates they did so only for the irony. How are we to distinguish between the rabidly ironic and the infuriatingly self-consumed now!? But that’s a subject of another debate and not one I wish to impinge on you right now.
The glorious Twitter hashtag
The origins of the humble hashtag can be traced all the way down to one user named Chris Messina who, on 23rd August 2007, made the suggestion “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups? As in #barcamp [msg]?”. Through his seemingly small and insignificant suggestion evolved a fundamental feature of social networking and digital communication. The creator of the Hashtag – now that’s an accolade that anybody in the 21st century can wear with pride.
Trending hashtags allow users a little snapshot into the sort of conversations that people are having at that time; and those aren’t always at the calibre of political debates. Often, either by transmedia encouragement or viral fluke, something downright silly will crop up among the global disasters, community campaigning and promoted campaigns from big media companies.
Oh yeah, and they’re not necessarily always started by Jimmy Falon… Although a great deal of them certainly are.
As we look back over the year so far, we thought we would list a few of our favourites, how they came to fruition and some of the best tweets that they were featured in…
It’s not actually clear why but back in April Twitter users started to get a little carried away supplying us with suggestions for Dwarves that had been rejected for use in Disney’s Snow White. Among our favourites were Creepy, Occulty and, of course, Dappy; the latter obviously accompanied by a picture of everybody’s favourite rapper with a penchant for silly hats. As is usually the case with Twitter trends this swiftly descended into yet another bout of politician bashing, with David Cameron referred to as “Dodgy” and Jeremy Corbyn as “Lefty”.
This hashtag turned out to be exactly what it said on the tin. This hashtag had women turning the tables on men who had mistreated them by tweeting things that men may (or may not) have done to them in the past and positioning them as if they are something they would/have done to maliciously frustrate a guy and waste his time. One that particularly stood out to us was this tweet by @DopeEthiopian…
Get him pregnant, tell him you gotta run to the store for some milk real quick & never come back #WasteHisTime2016
This little barrage of fun was all down to one American teenager who decided to list all of the things she disliked about British culture and British people – not realising that sarcasm is the natural response of a British person when provoked. In response, alongside helpfully pointing out the flawed elements of her logic, Twitter users started highlighting weird things that Americans do. These included naming a game predominantly played with hands “football”, banning Kinder Eggs but not banning guns, and genuinely considering Donald Trump as a presidential candidate.
Ferrari F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen is a man of few words, and back in March Twitter users took note of that fact. He was asked to comment on how the visibility of a new cockpit protection unit known as Halo was before the F1 start and he responded with a solitary “OK.” This helped to spawn the hashtag #ThingsKimiFindsOK, with users suggesting things that he was OK with. These included the aurora borealis, choc ices and his car being on fire.
Back in the beginning of January controversial conspiracy theorist-come-well known social media lunatic Tila Tequila went a little crazy, claiming that while it was 2016 still nobody had been able to prove to her that the Earth is round. What followed was a barrage of anti-arguments accompanied with the hashtag #FlatEarth. Plenty of these were certainly worth reading but perhaps the best is this one…
Why are all the buildings in NYC standing straight up? If earth was round then some of the buildings would have a slight tilt.#FlatEarth
So far 2016 has proved marvellous on the ridiculous hashtag front – here’s hoping the rest of the year doesn’t disappoint! Have a suggestion that you think should be included? Tweet us – @GiraffeSM.