Monday, June 9, 2014

Cyberculture#Social Media Trends#Hashtagging

Cyberculture#Social Media Trends#Hashtagging

Before starting my research for the final project, I wanted to write a little bit about my opinions and what I know about it (I meant to post this right after doing so, but I forgot). So, here’s what I came up with…
Personally, I’m simple and don’t get into all the new gadgets and services as technology evolves. I have Facebook that I use to see what’s going on in everyone’s lives, but I never really do any interacting myself (I haven’t even changed my profile picture since I created my account). I had MySpace before Facebook emerged, but I have never had Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumbler or any of the other popular social media outlets. I’ve always been fascinated with the phenomena of trends and how quick people are to jump on the newest bandwagon. Since we’ve become attached at the hip with our cellphones, social media can be at our fingertips in a matter of seconds, and we’re always connected. I don’t know whether all of this is good or bad, bringing us together or pushing us apart, annoying or interesting, making us more individualistic or making us all the same, but I’m curious to see what others are saying- whether right or wrong…I think it’s too early for anyone to really know for sure. Different trends are always popping up such as TBT (throwback Thursday), WCW/MCM (woman/man crush Wednesday/Monday), truth is, etc.
The hashtag phenomenon has seemed to be one of the first and most widespread trends. Its purpose has seemed to evolve with its popularity (used in other realms than just for personal enjoyment such as political/social awareness). I think it’s easy to forget that social media is used globally because most people just add the people that they know. So, it’s also interesting to see how other parts of the world are affected differently and how things such as the hashtag connect us.

Once I actually started doing research, I was shocked by the amount of information out there about this topic. Originally I was going to do social media in general, with a focus on trends, but I found out that because of the vast amounts of information, it was too broad. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to encompass such a narrow topic as hashtagging.
After doing research, I also realized that there is a lot more to hashtagging than I realized (part of this might have to do with the fact that I’ve never been on Twitter). I just thought that it was used as a different way for people to express themselves like emoticons (kind of like last minute thoughts or things related to the main topic of the post). And while it appears that this is partially true and not everyone uses it for its intended purpose- the true purpose of the hashtag is more interactive, it is basically an organizational/search tool that groups topics together. 

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