Every day’s a school day, even at 32. For example, 6 months ago I jacked in my career (we’ll save that tale for another day), bought myself a sketch book and discovered I could still draw. Last time I drew anything properly was 18 years ago at school, just before I put down my pens, picked up my piano books and swore allegiance to the music department.
Another example occurred about a month ago when I was at the helm of my piece-of-shit 2002 Ford Focus (the death of which you can read about here). After some fiddling around with the rear view mirror I discovered that if I flipped it down, the feeling of being interrogated by the lights of the car behind me stopped. 14 years of driving and I never knew. Shameful.
Most recently – two days ago in fact – I actually learned about something I was previously only vaguely aware of: hashtag-ing. Most call it Basic Information; I call it A Revelation.
My sense of pride at having managed, despite my inherent incapability in dealing with anything technological, to sail the stormy seas of cyberspace for as long as I have without the Hashtag Compass – sorry, #compass – to guide me has been replaced with mild irritation at having failed to get in amongst with this sooner.
As a fairly remedial social media user (it’s an absolute miracle I’ve managed to navigate my way round WordPress to the extent I have), it’s no surprise to me that this fundamental tool for self-promotion has soared over my head like a high-flying albatross. But now the beast has been shot down and knowledge is mine.
Back in the day, when it was all monolithic PCs shackled to the World Wide Web by a slow-moving dial up connection only available when your mother / brother / flatmate wasn’t on the phone, even I dreamed of a better time. A time when the internet would be faster than the speed of sound and computers would be smaller than an old-fashioned mouse.
And now that time is here! And so easy is it to contribute information that the internet is being crushed under the weight of itself. The lowly little hashtag, I’ve been told, is the only thing that seems to be able to sort it out.
My love for the alphabet, adjectives and wordy descriptions, like an overprotective mother, is unconditional, and I lament that its arrival has brought with it #LudicrousContractionsForWhatOnceWouldHaveBeenAmusingDescriptions such as the “#lol” (ridiculous). The abject embarrassment I feel for anyone who thinks lol-ing and rofl-ing are valid emotions is unlikely to change, though I strongly suspect it’s only a matter of time until the ever-evolving hellion that is Social Media foists something altogether more degrading upon us.
But it’s time to accept that my one-woman resistance is now redundant. This little symbol and its cute parallelogram ways must be courted. So I’ve opened my arms and am ready to embrace the hashtag bandwagon with all I’ve got. I mean, #bandwagon. Dammit.