When we were younger who would have thought that the pound sign would end up the star in many pop culture references? From Jimmy and Justin talking about hashtags in everyday speech to the friend down the street who uses entirely too many of them.
How many really know where this madness came from? It started as a way to categorize posts or images. Twitter is to blame for the rise of the hashtag, so all complaints need to be filed directly with them. There were so many tweets going through the service on a daily basis that they needed a way to group tweets together so everyone can find the topics they wanted to talk about. This led to creating a clickable link that would perform a search on the service for other tweets that also used the same phrase. Other social media platforms quickly followed suit, and a legacy of hashtags was born.
DO - Use it for organization purposes
As mentioned previously, it was meant as a way to categorize like topics. You can use this to keep track of specific pictures. If you need to find a picture of one of your children, clicking on the hashtag you have created for that specific child could be a huge help! On this one, you will have to try to make the hashtag unique enough for each child that there won't be a ton of pictures on the platform using the same one.
DON'T - Use ridiculously long hashtags that are hard to read.
Hashtags can be funny and can add something to your photo. When I have to spend 5 minutes trying to decipher what you are trying to say, it loses its punch, so if you DO use a long hashtag, make sure to capitalize the first letter of each word. For example #IFound5DressesToBuyTodayButThisWasntOneOfThem is much easier to read than #ifound5dressestobuytodaybutthiswasntoneofthem
DO - Use them as a punchline
Adding #whoops or #fail to something you've completely messed up, or #IBlameBrittney every time it snows can help you get the idea across that this is meant to be funny. We have always needed a sarcastic font to help people understand sarcasm in text form, and now we kinda have it with hashtags. So let the sarcasm fly!
DON'T - Be mean
I know. I know. I've been through Volleyball tournaments that last the ENTIRE DAY. Track meets that go on forever. Swim meets that just. never. end. School plays that make absolutely no sense. But a hashtag like #RatherBeDoingAnythingElse can make your child feel like that TV show you want to watch or that game you want to play is more important than supporting them. We know that's not really how you feel. We know those events can be super boring. If you really felt that it was more important than your child, you wouldn't even be there. It's hard for kids to make that distinction if they see your update though. This goes for other things too. Like making fun of when they get in trouble, or when they are upset about something.
DON'T - Use hashtags if you want privacy
If your profile is public, using a ton of hashtags helps others to find your photos. If you use a ton of hashtags like #beach #love #kids etc, people will click on those hashtags and find your photos. They could even like or comment on them. If you utilize hashtags like this, you can't feel creeped out when someone you don't know likes or comments on the photo.
DO - Express your love
Your kids will see your updates, their friends may see your updates, even their enemies may see your updates. Use the opportunity to show your children on another platform how much you love them. Sure you tell them all the time. When they see that you've put it out there for everyone to see, it just brings a little more weight to the message.