Fallon, Timberlake Show How Far Out Hashtags Have Gone

September 30, 2013
The influence of social media even on the media cannot be denied -- and this was recently confirmed by a skit on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, which highlighted what the hashtag does best (and sometimes annoyingly so). Comedian Jimmy Fallon and Justing Timberlake poked fun at hashtags during his late show on 25 September 2013 in a skit that inserts the use (and misuse) of pound-sign-preceded words in casual conversation. The act shows how social media users may be using the tool when posting, to the point that it loses its function and essence. But what really is the function of a hashtag, anyway? Different answers will come out of different user personalities online. On Twitter, hashtags are generally created to categorize topics and drive the right people to focused discussions. The hashtag started in 2007, with Chris Messina credited as its inventor. Nowadays, there are thousands of individuals using hashtags for casual and business purposes. The problem is, several users who do not understand how it's supposed to be used post more than what is adequate or relevant. Some tweets contain five or more completely unrelated or irrelevant hashtags. Many Twitter users are driven to conversations with very little or zero interaction. The dilemma with excessive hashtag use is more prominent on the likes of Instagram and Pinterest, where everything is just about "pounded." The existence of similar or highly related hashtags has also increased because of improper use. toomanyhashtags1 Fallon and Timberlake's conversation shows how ridiculous improperly incorporated hashtags can be, even on social media platforms. Teenagers, in particular, are using these non-stop, providing one in every word they say and using it as a part of normal conversation, instead of a tool to create meaningful discussions. The duo carried on with their exchange to the point of making unintelligible speeches complete with finger gestures forming the popular "#" sign. According to Chriss Messina, he has been getting a lot of feedback on how younger users almost hashtag (verb) everything they post online. Hashtags may be evolevd too quickly since their introduction several years ago. Meaningful conversations are substituted by almost unreadable messages. Messina shared he did not expect hashtags to be used in this manner and somehow thinks to himself, "Oh, my God... What have I done?"

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