I just don’t get the whole hashtag thing! I’ve done my best to understand what they are all about, and just when I think I’ve got the idea, I realize that none of it makes much sense to me. I’m most likely out of the loop because I have never taken the time to get into the Instagram groove. I’ve watched a number of social media platforms come and go over the years, and it’s a pretty sure thing that by the time I decide to join, the popularity of the site will be on the wane. I like anything that is easy to use, whereas the younger media buffs appear to prefer a more challenging format that is less likely to include their parents and grandparents.
I used to love Facebook because it allowed me to stay in touch with members of my extended family, friends from school and work, and my former students. Over time I found that the algorithms created for what I might see on my wall had limited my reach to the same small group of people over and over again. I now have to wade through advertisements that I care nothing about just to get the latest news from people that I know. After last year’s presidential election poisoned the Facebook well, there were many hurt feelings and shattered relationships. Many people who had once been regular contributors simply left forever.
I have an account on Twitter but I rarely see a post from anyone that I actually know, and I have not once received a reply to any of my posts. If I were to measure my personal popularity by my following on Twitter, as some people do, I we have to count myself as friendless. Still, I enjoy some of the quick-witted humor and repartee that seems to be the hallmark of that site.
Instagram seems to have become the choice of those in the know, but I’m just not up to adding another form of social media to my resume. I suppose that if I were to join, I would have to really study the power of the hashtag in keeping things organized. By the time I learned the ins and outs, everyone would probably be moving on to the next new thing anyway. Sometimes the whole world of social media feels like being on a real time Easter egg hunt with the Easter Bunny leaving mysterious clues in a series of hashtags. While I like a good mystery as much as anyone, I just don’t have much interest in mastering the quirky world of @s and #s.
I have a Snapchat account that I rarely use. It takes too much effort to learn its nuances, and find my friends. Usually their posts have already disappeared before I realize that they have reached out to me. I suppose I’m just not quick enough or motivated enough to keep up with the times. The clock is tick tocking away while I’m stuck in my Facebook rut. If I were actually sharp witted enough to master all of the various social media outlets, I’d be like one of those teens staring down at a phone screen all day long.
Besides all of those hashtags and knowing whatsapp, I have to ask, “Whatsapp with all of the people ambidextrous enough to walk and operate their phones with a single hand?” I’m barely able to key in an intelligible post while seated and using both hands. With auto-correct I still end up with messages that I never intended to create. I’ve even ended up in Facebook prison for twenty four hours because I did not notice a subtle change in what I intended to type that made me sound like a raving lunatic.
If you ask me, much of the trouble that stalks the world can be traced to the sometimes insanity of social media. What should be good, has broken down into hashtag hell. Too many people are dependent on memes and soundbites and hoaxes and outright lies for their information. The once friendly faces that only wanted to keep in touch are snapping at one another, tweeting ridiculousness like small brained birds, chatting in snapshots, and finding instant popularity in hundreds of photos that are cataloged by so many hashtags that most of us never find them.
Don’t get me wrong. I like social media, but I just can’t keep up with the frenzy and I’m not so sure I would want to even if I had the time. I’d much rather take a walk or get lost in a really good book. I like sharing my story, but I surely don’t want to pretend that somehow I have such a perfect life that it makes others feel uncomfortable. I hope I don’t come across as a know it all either. I have been scarred by the divisiveness of the past year. Even my most innocent posts sometimes raised the ire of people that I know. Like J. Alfred Prufrock I am often declaring #notwhatImeantatall. I sometimes wonder if I am #toooldforthis. I just #wanttogetalong. #whothougtofthis? #thatdarneasterbunny! #needanap.
Trying to stay woke is really hard work, especially since I no longer have the snap that I once did. I’m rather certain that I’ve already shown much ignorance about the way things work in everything that I have written. Try to be understanding. I’m just doing my best to follow the hashtag trail and hoping to find an Easter egg or two along the way. This is new territory for me. #doingmybest