In To #or not to #, that is the question?

The # hashtag I gather has been around for a while but I have only really used it during the last few months!   The name for a start, I have to admit I don’t understand! The tag part is straight forward and I fully understand that you are tagging and connecting people to the tagged person or subject!  But as for the hash part…..?  Apparently the technical term for a hashtag is “octothorp,”  eight points in the figure, and Thorpe, comes from the surname Thorpe.  So unless Thorpe was the person who created the octothorp that name is equally random! 

Anyway after that study I am still totally confused, and will now talk about the hashtag’s purpose! This is actually quite difficult when you don’t really understand the subject you are talking about.  So in my mind, for many years I have happily survived without needing to use it.  It is a bit like quadratic equations, which as far as I know once I had completed my O level maths (vaguely equivalent to GCSE Maths), I have never used since.  I never understood them, but you didn’t need to as long as you learnt the formula and remembered it for long enough to answer the exam question.  My theory about this obviously worked because I got the grade I needed and in the meantime had completely forgotten how to do them! 

Apparently if I were to throw a ball and enter all the measurements for the height, speed etc into a quadratic equation, I have been told, that the  person who was going to catch the ball would know exactly where they should stand at exactly what time and exactly at what speed the ball would land in their hand!  Wouldn’t a cricket match be boring?  Realistically of course you wouldn’t have time to work it out. In the future though one can imagine that the computer would be used on your wrist or in your brain to work this out so that the game could continue to be played! It would certainly be the perfect game!  In this age of competition where no one can lose as they will develop a complex it would be the perfect answer with everyone winning! The league tables etc would be totally……..boring!

Anyway back to the importance and use of the hashtag.  Well, I was encouraged to put photos on Instagram by my children and a friend called Lena.  I really liked the fact that you could put as little or as much as you wanted to, and this meant your privacy was respected.  The trouble was I did want people to see my photos otherwise I might as well not bother, but how did you get that to happen.  “The  hashtag is the answer” my 3 teachers cried and proceeded to all speak at once explaining how to use it!  I really didn’t get it and then they confused me even more by bringing into the equation the @ sign!  My two children continued the lessons later and I still don’t think I’ve fully got it yet. But, like a quadratic equation there seems to be a formula that works……..     #Hashtag as many categories as possible and you seem to get more views or likes – so one gets the result without fully understanding the formula, apart from the fact I know that a hashtag attracts people who like the subject or have tagged it or something like that.   The @ sign I think is to do with groups and individuals who were with you but are also used if you want them to see it directly.  I have to confess it is rarely used by me as I can’t really see the point and certainly am not sure of the difference.

So Instagram is becoming more successful now I am hashtagging more topics or groups, but there quickly occurs another problem, apparently I should use them in this blog and they can be used in the middle as well as using tags at the end.  Facebook is another situation you see them and I’m sure they are used all over the place.

Finally, if you are not confused enough with what I’ve written, the hashtag makes a nice noughts and crosses board; a page full of them makes interesting patterns when coloured, and one can also use them like pointillism, instead calling it hashtagillism. Long before there were hashtags there was music and the wonderful if not so unique hashtag makes a great #sharp when composing music. If you have any more uses, then please let me know, and I will add them to my blog #thanks.