#HashtagCulture

#HashtagCulture

Anonymous | Jan 25, 2016

  • 2

With the rise of mass media and the social networking generation, Facebook has become everybody’s personal forum. With slow if not non-existent internet access on laptops, thank God for mobile internet and android. Thanks to the Facebook apps people can now spam my already crammed mobile screen, as well! Being in an institute that has about 40-odd clubs, each of which have their own set of varied events, and that aside an institute sponsored fest every half a semester – I don’t think a single day goes by when people don’t “share” with us.

So what is the difference between publicity and spamming, and why am I writing this article, again? You see, publicity is a necessary evil; no matter what product you’re giving unless you sell it nobody’s going to buy it. Coming to spamming, I think that it goes a little overboard with that idea and ends up repulsing a greater proportion of the populace than attracting their attention. So if I wake up and see ten people sharing a poster of the same event, chances are I might click on one and read it just to find out what all this hullaballoo is about. It’s your wall, you’ve put a link on it, that’s perfectly acceptable. Sometimes you put it on a group, and I get a notification for it, and my phone loses a teeny bit of charge with that beep, but that I can live with it.

My problem begins when you start invading my private space by posting on my wall, and my friend’s wall and his friend’s wall. If you’re having a singing competition tag a singer, if you’re having a dance competition tag a dancer, if it’s a debate then tag a debater, if it’s a quiz then tag a quizzer or if it’s something random then find someone who might be interested. Why on earth would you want me to participate in an event about which I don’t give a rats’ ass?

Spammers are important people, and I respect them for what they do. I’m just saying that maybe you could organize what you’re doing? Just to have your event trending on Facebook doesn’t mean people are going to actually come for it. Just reaching a million views or reach doesn’t mean that people have actually noticed it. It just means that you’ve annoyed a large number of people on your friend list. Instead, if you put a bit more soul into the event, then information would be spread by word of mouth, and that I believe is the best kind of publicity.

Its relatively easy to ignore links and posters and event shares on your Facebook home feed, but it becomes more credible when your friend comes and tells you that there is an event happening that might actually turn out to be big. Somewhere in our attempt to market out products, and gift wrap them with bows on top, I can’t help but wonder if we’re churning out empty boxes?

It’s not like I’m not a spammer, and it’s not like I don’t believe that publicity is important. I just ardently hope for events that are not being called a success or failure by the number of hits on their link or the number of shares on their page. The hashtag culture is essentially inducing a never-seen-before herd mentality where everyone jumps the bandwagon without even knowing why.

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