Have you ever thought that all of the hashtags people use in Twitter and Facebook posts looks, well, ridiculous? How about if you imagine those posts as conversations (including text shorthand such as “WTF” and “LOL”) that actually take place off the Internet? That certainly sounds a little cringe-worthy, and late night show host Jimmy Fallon and singer/actor Justin Timberlake show us just how awkward it would be if our Twitter conversations took place in real life.
A well-placed hashtag in a Twitter post certainly serves a purpose, and Twitter even offers its users a tutorial for using them correctly. They are great for marking the subject being discussed or the group the post is targeted to, that way the posts can be easily discovered by other Twitter users. Unfortunately, hashtag overkill happens all too frequently on Twitter and even Facebook (long before Facebook even introduced the hashtag search).
After trying (and failing) to capture the art of overusing hashtags and text shorthand using my own Twitter account, I found a pretty good example of hashtag-overload. Try saying this one out loud:
— Miguel Villar (@MiguelVillar_) June 21, 2013
Most people on Twitter found the “#Hashtag” skit with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake hilarious, and a few folks are rethinking just how many hashtags they use in their online posts:
I don't think I'll ever use another hash tag after watch Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's video
— Sabrina Louise (@SLJ988) September 28, 2013
The Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake hashtag skit was to make you realize how stupid you sound, not to make you use it more. #njtransit
— Chloe Riley (@Chloiferr) September 28, 2013
And just in case any Twitter users who overuse the heck out of hashtags were a little offended by Fallon and Timberlake’s skit, here is an Xzibit meme that pokes fun at hashtags. Xzibit memes make everything better.