Jul 18th 2017

<< Back

Is a Selfie more than just a Hashtag?

A Selfie is More Than Just a HashtagWritten by Malki Ehrlich on July 18, 2017

Lights, Camera, Selfie! This describes what we see among youth and the millennial generation in our world today. How did these words- selfie and hashtag – become so predominant in our social networking world and how does this affect our common usage of grammar?

What is a Selfie?
The word Selfie, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “a self-portrait photograph typically taken with a digital camera or camera phone held in one hand or with a selfie stick”. One great feature that accompanies selfies is the use of the hashtag.

What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is usually a pound or hash sign represented with the symbol (#). The term hashtag began on the social media platform Twitter as a way of drawing attention and promoting brands, this can be tricky at times as some hashtags can be difficult to decipher and the grammar can be sloppy. Here are some funny examples:

  • #grammarschools: Grammar Schools
  • #BlackHateBook: Black Hat eBook
  • #susasnalbumparty: Susan Album Party

Is a Selfie more than just a Hashtag?
Nowadays, hashtags and selfies are used for various media linking campaigns on social media. Time has proven that a selfie can go a long way in creating global awareness about important issues and it’s now a common research practice for companies to use selfies  and hashtags to solicit opinions from their friends, followers, and customers:

Two examples of great Selfie campaigns: 

  • Recently, due to the increasing rate of male suicides in Britain, the #It’sOkayToTalk challenge began to trend on Twitter. Men were being asked to share a selfie picture of themselves doing the okay sign while also adding a hashtag to the photo #itsokaytotalk and tagging their friends. Reports revealed that this singular campaign led to a drastic reduction in male suicides in Great Britain.
  • Dove, a popular personal care brand, created a hashtag campaign #loveyourcurls and asked their followers to share a selfie of their curls and what makes it special to them. This has proven to be an extremely successful campaign!

The importance of selfie can never be undermined because of the potential power it can wield on social media. It has become normal for world leaders to pose for selfies, sport icons, movie stars, and down to the 8-year-old girl with her group of friends posing for a picture in the park. The Selfie and Hashtag have gone a long way in building brands and spreading information.

Here’s some food for the thought:
Does the Selfie/Hashtag mania compromise improper use of the English language? Or does it, rather, move us forward in the evolution of the English language?

<< Back

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)