Incredibly enough, these words (#KingJamesVersionBible) from Ecclesiastes were the son of David’s response to the Internet — specifically Facebook, Twitter, and, I suppose, blogging. Talk about foresight! Step aside, Nostradamus (#nutcase). “The Preacher,” as the worldly-wise voice is called in Ecclesiastes, knew his universal truths when it comes to the human animal (#narcissism). We love to delude ourselves into thinking that the world waits with bated breath (#MerchantOfVenice) on our every move and thought. Consider, for instance, those who tweet things like the following:
- At Poughkeepsie WalMart looking for foam dog shampoo. #whocares
- Lost .8 pounds yesterday! Did three burpees in a row! #whocares
- Jessica was robbed on American Idol last night! #whocares
- 6 out of 5 stars to 50 Shades of Grey! #whocares
- At the moment, scratching my left elbow. #whocares
- About to go see Prometheus. So excited! #whocares
- Beuller…? #whocares
- Only 987 more and I’ll have my 1,000th follower! Won’t you help? #getalife
- Hey, Mikey! He likes it! #getaLIFEandAddMilk
- RT my RT and I’ll RT yours #collusion
- About to take a nap! #Zzzz
- Damn Nation (sister of Carrie), the Red Sox lost today! #again?
As English teachers, we may instruct our students on the proper use of punctuation, but seldom do we teach correct usage of the hash mark. In fact, sans Twitter, most of us wouldn’t know a hash mark from an umlaut (#PhonicsAnyone?). Still, on Twitter and other social networking websites, the hash mark becomes a “hashtag” which precedes a key word, words, or acronym for topics of interest to posters. Top hashtags:
Still, I come to bury Twitter phobia, not to praise it. You can actually learn a lot from life in the Twitterverse (#cutenicknames), even if you never post yourself. By following key educational personalities and organizations, you’ll be barraged with links that can’t help but prove useful in some cases. And by mastering a few key hashtags, the process becomes even simpler.
Here, then, is a useful site (#FoundOnTwitter) that solves the the enigma of hashtags related to education.
Plug any of them in to the “search” function on Twitter and you’re on your way (#WhereToIDon’tKnow). So, next time you feel like dismissing Twitter (#Don’tForgetToWriteAPass) as if it were some rowdy student at the end of a particularly long and trying Friday, reconsider. There IS gold in them thar hills! (#YouJustHaveToLook)
Nota Bene: I haven’t looked, but “#whocares” almost surely has been used on Twitter, where hashtags are abused more than drugs in Amsterdam alleyways. Use of it here is strictly for humorous (#lame) purposes. I have no clue as to its purpose over there, and — in the words of a Prophet other than the one found in Ecclesiastes — some things are better left unlearned.