The Outsider: Dumb and #dumber

I was having trouble thinking about what I should whinge, sorry, write about, this week and so I opened my Facebook account (yes, I am that old and boring), hoping it would give me inspiration. And you know what? It did.

In among the swathes of tedious posts from desperate folks trying to justify their pitiful lives by collecting likes, there were two that caught my eye for very contrasting but ultimately similar reasons. The first, from Moe, said: “#you #don’t #need #a #hashtag #for #every #word #you #post. #Settle #down.”

I chuckled, and, unusually for me, hit ‘like’. I don’t often express my emotions via the utterly lazy single click but for this damning digital diatribe I thought it particularly apt, only bettered I guess by commenting #righton.

For the avid hash taggers out there, clicking on #righton is a waste of time, believe me. I did it in the name of research. Twitter #righton is filled with random semiliterate posts by pointless losers saying nothing about anything, all completely unconnected with each other, other than they are obviously not ‘right on’.

You might already have guessed that I hate hashtags, or rather their improper use. Yes, go ahead young folks (and some older ones too) and hashtag My Haliburton Highlands, if you are in the business of promoting the area as a tourist destination, but #daddyatthebeach #wickednewmanicure #baconsandwich … Nooo! I won’t click on your link and neither will anyone else. They’ll simply stop reading your post as soon as you #start #adding #that #little #symbol #because #it’s #@#$%&ing #annoying.

Or, if they are older and wiser, they’ll wonder why you’re using the number or pound sign randomly throughout your post and correctly assume that you’re an idiot, and then unfriend you.

Our insistence on adding hashtags to otherwise perfectly interesting little posts is crippling the English language and dumbing down our lives to the point of click and ‘hope I’m cool like the other kids.’

That brings me on to the other Facebook post that caught my eye. An advert from the Royal Canadian Mint, no less. The royally-appointed authority that makes our money, has seen fit to, as it says on the ad, ‘capture Canadian pride on a coin.’ A glow in the dark coin. My son had a Batman glow in the dark T-shirt once. He also used to think glow sticks were cool. Note the words ‘used to’ in that last sentence. And the luminous Storm Trooper that his grandma bought him a couple of years ago? It sits on a shelf, unused. You see, he’s 10 now and he’s lost interest in ‘glow-in-the-dark.’

Has society regressed to the mental capacity of four-year-old children; to the point at which we are mesmerized by luminous trinkets? Is the minting of a new silver coin symbolizing Canadian pride not good enough, not collectible enough? Please people, let’s focus on the important issues of our days because there are many, large and small. Let’s not get caught up in any manufactured excitement surrounding a luminous-painted commemorative coin. Are you with me? #Canadianmintsucks #hashtagsaredumb #bringbackthepoundsign.

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