by Carol Sokolsky
Who knew—only a few years ago—that our entire society would be speaking hashtags?
I mean, seriously, when is the last time you opened any of the social media outlets and saw a plain old post… just plain English? Even texts are written in hashtags, and yes, #ImAsGuiltyAsTheNextGuy.
It’s actually fun to try to figure out what someone is trying to say, the emotions they feel, and even the point they may be trying to get across, simply by the uniqueness of their hashtags. Again, who knew? Strange phenomenon, for sure… and who thought up the idea anyhow?
A San Francisco techie and former Google developer Chris Messina can be blamed for the start of the hashtag revolution. He chose to put the # symbol in front of a word or words to group that post with other posts about the same subject. In other words, he found an easy way to bring together people discussing the same topic online. That was in August of 2007… only a short ten years ago!
The hashtag revolution, as I call it, is now the daily staple of regular folks, celebrities and even—beyond our wildest imagination—the President of the United States. I don’t remember anything else that has impacted writing, conversation, and news feeds quite like the hashtag has done. Yet, I really don’t think the majority of people use the hashtag to group posts or pictures together, as it was originally introduced. Rather, I think the hashtag is really more of an expression of the author, a comedic gesture to evoke a smile, or often a profound, emphatic label marking a specific moment.
We now talk in snippets, whether in a quick text, a tweet, or on Instagram, and usually with hashtags. And yet, I kind of like it. It’s a new love language, of sorts, because we can say things with a hashtag that we maybe wouldn’t have the nerve to say otherwise. And, we always know where to go find our brilliant message because, yes, it’s grouped by a hashtag!
As I thought about my life, I wondered how people would hashtag me. I’ve had five life-altering events… five days in my life that permanently changed my life… forever. Actually six days, because the most important day was the day that I decided what to do with Jesus. After all, at the end of the day, it’s all about what you choose to do with Jesus.
Some of my favorites, ones that I use quite often, are actually engraved on my heart. It’s the story of me. No great surprise then, why I migrated into my own personal hashtag, one that I was using long before I knew what a hashtag even meant. I have it stamped on jewelry and use it often in conversation and when I write, because for me, five—no six—days in my life have left me #ForeverChanged.
Carol Sokolsky is passionate about being the best she can be… in whatever place God plants her. She is blessed with an incredible family, including her bonus family that she considers her own. Walking a beach is definitely her #happyplace. Carol is a regular contributing writer for the918, loves to share life with her readers, and truly enjoys the feedback she receives. If you want to connect with Carol, you can find her on Facebook as Carol Sprunger Sokolsky, and on Instagram as @Sokocarden. She’d love to hear your story and how the918 has made a difference: firstname.lastname@example.org.