Yes, Twitter is good. It’s popularity is well-deserved. What’s very much not good, however, is #hashtaggery, which for the purposes of this post I define as using twitter hashtags as some means of political or societal protest medium. This recent and growing phenomenon is not good. In fact, it is worse than useless.
Domestically, where it might be though to have some value, it devolves to people seeing or hearing of something they don’t like, such as specific crimes, and tweeting about it using a hashtag as an identifier. Sometimes this causes a trend and rises in popularity and visibility. Yet, at the end of the day, it doesn’t go beyond Twitter. Nothing comes of it, in part because people feel that they’ve done something about the problem.
#Hashtaggery At Home
You really want to #StandWithHer or be #United4Her? You want to #DoSomething? Get off your ass and do something real. Don’t stand with her, stand before her in full readiness to do whatever it takes to stop what is about to happen.
The only way your #hashtags are going to have any effect upon the real world is if you carve them into carcasses of the offenders that you’ve exterminated or left it at the remains of one of their nests that’ve burned down or blown up.
And foreign policy and relations? Please! Does anyone really believe that twitter bombing a foreign government or group of terrorists is going to do anything at all? Apparently so. The ability of people to descend into self-serving self-delusion seems to know no bounds.
Carve #FreeOurGirls into the carcasses of Nigerian Muslim boys that have been exterminated in reprisal for Boko Haram’s action and you might get results. Burn your hashtag in the mutilated corpses of Sudanese Muslims and you might #FreeMeriamIbrahim. Cut into the bodies of Mexicans and you might help #FreeOurMarine.
Alternately, wave your hashtag as a banner when you storm and take the foreign nations’ consulates or embassies and put their personnel to death.
Anything else is just useless #Hashtaggery and serves only to make yourself feel good without actually having to or risk anything, especially your precious comforts.