When I first began using Twitter, hashtags seemed to be a joke. Always envisioning the verbal context of my tweets, it was humorous to say my hashtags aloud, particularly when they were quirky ones, incapable of producing search results from another tweeter if I clicked on them.
Three years of tweeting later and I’ve finally begun to not only use and understand hashtags, but to rely on them to provide me with further information. The process is now more along the lines of notice trend, compose tweet, use hashtag, click on hashtag, come to life five minutes, eight Twitter profiles and several replies later.
Twitter, via trends and the following of many credible and prestigious news outlets, is my primary source of news. In this sense, I connect with journalist Mallary Tenore, who also says Twitter’s 140 character limit taught her that every word literally counts. Just as Tenore says in her article on how Twitter has made her better, I’ve learned to consolidate my words and be overall more efficient with the English language.
I’ve also attained a better understanding of Twitter as a tool for informative conversation, rather than a forum to just spill your thoughts. As Steve Buttry points out in his piece, hashtags on Twitter are actually an ‘advanced search feature’ which allow for immediate access to breaking news, as I pointed out in a previous blog post.