“The pen is mightier than the sword”
–Edward Bulwer-Lytton 1839 from ‘Richelieu’
If this is true, and I believe it is, then the combination of the keyboard (21st century pen) when combined with tweeting, would kick Edward’s pen’s ass.
Sure there will be skeptics. I get that. There is a sport, which is known by some, but perfected by few. I speak, of course, of #fakehashtaggery. It is usually played on a platform such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, though one could certainly use Twitter. Does anybody use Twitter for tweeting anymore? I digress.
The sport of #fakehashtaggery dates back thousands of years to 2009.
To those readers who have been using Twitter for a while, I don’t need to explain that the pound sign is also called a hashtag. To those who haven’t been using twitter until recently, please stop reading, go sit in the corner, and think about what you have done. Oh don’t try to play dumb. I know you mocked Twitter relentlessly, until you started to see tweets on the CNN crawler. Then all of a sudden, it was ok. Well some of us have been here for years. We have been airing our grievances, 140 characters at a time, all to build a world where people can search for loved ones in a disaster or overthrow a dictator. You are welcome.
This brings me back to the most exciting sport since Bulgarian Ratapult. #FakeHashTaggery is played by one or thousands. It often starts when a 12 year old girl tweets something like “Justin Bieber is the greatest musician EVER.”
The first salvo would go something like this, “@Sally021999 No he isn’t. He sounds like a cat producing a pile of sick. #BieberIsAMonkeyFacedBoy”
The little biebette might respond, but this only makes it worse. “@Sally021999 His lyrics are trite. Your parents don’t love you. #BieberHairSucks”
If she isn’t crying by now, then it is hard to say which way it will go. She will either log off of Twitter or, and this is where #fakehashtaggery can become dangerous, she might rally several thousand screeching preteens to her cause. This can quickly turn into millions of people, all berating ones middle aged baldness and lack of fashion sense. This is not a game for the faint of heart.
Few people know that Mubarak once tweeted that “David Hasselhoff was overrated and that Baywatch sucked.” Within minutes, a gang of ruthless German tweeple was using hashtags to imply an improper relationship between the President and a camel in a bikini. Twenty minutes later he stepped down and he hasn’t been seen tweeting since.
Now don’t get me wrong, hashtags are very useful. I like to set up a search using #reading or #writing, to find kindred spirits. Hashtags, when used properly, are very handy for group discussions. They make Twitter fun, can help with promoting, and as I have said, even aid in emergencies. I don’t mock the hashtag itself. But there are days when I am feeling a little #snarky that a round or two of #fakehashtaggery really lifts my spirits.
Brian Meeks has delusions of novelist, which he feeds by writing the Henry Wood Detective series (Available soon and on his blahg). When the economy went south, he turned to social media and does this to feed and clothe himself. In his free time, he does… well… social media… and publishes the Extremely Average. He can be reached on Twitter or by carrier pigeon at the house with the big tree out front.