What the # !?

hashtags
I'm looking through social media and noticing the funny, the common, and sometimes ridiculous hashtags. I'm all WHAT THE hashtag ?!

My question quickly becomes, do you actually know what the # (hashtag) is for?

Hashtags got their start in Twitter as a way of making it easier for people to find, follow, and contribute to a conversation. It has a USE, not just a cheeky way to grab attention... "a hashtag is a label or metadata tag used on social network and microblogging services which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content."

Huh? 
Have you ever noticed the hashtag and words following it are a link, or clickable? Well if you click on it, your social media site will pull up every other same #. It's a way to create a community of people (or thoughts/ideas) of the same topic. You can also search a hashtag in your social media search bar. So if you're interested in reading what people are posting who are using the same hashtag, type it in and all posts that have used that hashtag will come up.

Many hashtags have gone viral and are popularly used over and over, like #boss #killingit #tbt #selfie (and many many more). Most businesses have created their own hashtags for you to follow and link with as well. I have MY own, #triouradventure and #teamTOA
Some businesses even use it for promotions or freebie giveaways. #score ;)

I've searched hashtags based on the city I am visiting; to see what's happening, who's where, what to do, and what's hot at the moment. I've searched races, athletes, and celebrities. I love #ilovemychocolatelab and my search quickly fills with beautiful chocolate labs. Like to cook? Search #foodporn or #recipe or #cooking . Whatever your like, thought, who, where, question, idea... there's probably a hashtag for you. Search it!

Why do we see so many nonsensical hashtags then? Welllll, people try to be cute, cheeky, or funny.  Or they want hashtag attention. Others overuse the hashtag in an attempt to mock the actual hashtag or again, trying to be funny. Most often, the user just doesn't understand what the hashtag is for, and is using it to use; everyone else uses them!

There isn't a right or wrong to using or creating a hashtag. It's your world, LIVE IT! But knowing what you're using is important for me to relay to you. I'm a social media girl, I NEED you to understand that your #ohmygodicantwaittogetmyhairdidimgoingtolooksopretty DOESN'T WORK. It's long, hard to read, annoying, and USELESS. 

What else DOESN'T work? Spaces. If you use a space between your words, you've just lost the relevance of the hashtag. Punctuation marks don't work either. Both spaces and punctuation marks will break up your hashtag "link" and totally defeats the purpose. 
I'd also advise you not to leave letters out (unless that's the "thing" for that particular hashtag). But if you're trying to establish your own or be a part of that "community", make sure your hashtag is spelled correctly. I saw one, #trusoulmatez  It DOESN'T WORK. There isn't a single other tag out there. Use the actual hashtag, #truesoulmates and you'll be linked to all those other in love birdies (hearts flying...). 

And finally, remember, using the @ symbol does something entirely different (perhaps another educational post for you later)...