If you have been around social media very long…
Then you have probably noticed different words connected to a piece of work… In olden times (last decade!) we might have simply called them meta tags – data that is tagged to be used to describe a webpage (HTML document).
Before Meta tags they were often called taglines and were related to advertising of particular products, or slogans for various campaigns.
“Taglines (also called straplines, tags, slogans, or brand lines) can be inspirational, like a product philosophy, or they can be something fun and memorable. While some can impel you to be better, do more, or go further, others are simply a fun play on words. The generally accepted description of a tagline is:
A variant of a branding slogan, a tagline can be used in marketing materials and advertising. The idea behind the concept is to create a memorable dramatic phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of an audio/visual product, or to reinforce and strengthen the audience’s memory of a literary product.” [Source]
Taglines related to advertising products have been around for decades, if not centuries! Growing up, Timex stated, “It takes a licking but keeps on ticking”, or Maxwell House (Good to the last drop), or Allstate (You’re in Good Hands). These are popular tags that found their roots in the 1950’s (my birth era) and are still used and remembered today.
A tag that is well thought out, written, presented and used repeatedly is simply a label that you always remember something by. They may even be “key words” so as to get search engines to find them and their content (like this blog post). They may not work in every language or culture, but for the initial audience it is something catchy that can be remembered for life.
The year I entered college, and just before marriage and total adulthood, it was Burger King that told me to “Have it your way” – back in the day when a hamburger was a hamburger! And the Yumbo was the favorite sandwich for my bride. You used to be able to get a “Mustard Whopper” and what a favorite bite that was, if you enjoyed mustard.
“A little dab’ll do ya” was the tag for Brylcreem, a hair product for men. The advertisement convinced you it was the thing to buy! It was very popular in my young years where the competing brands included Vitalis or Butch Wax (for crew cuts or flattops) … I never remember Dapper Dan.
Today, tags are called Hashtags in the world of Social Media. Simply, a word or phrase preceded by the # sign (pound sign for you that know, and not the British pound sign £ ) so that programmers will know what message you are trying to share so they can help others find the same message, if not your very post.
“…A hash tag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic and to begin a conversation.” [Source]
Do you know where the #hashtag function came from? That same source I just referenced said it first showed up in Twitter when someone messaged about the plane that landed in the Hudson River back in 2009. Some twitter message included #Flight1549 at the end of the message. Others started referencing it, and it is now in our language and experience to put #hashtags on many of our messages!
We see #hashtag’s being used in many ways. Tag a concert, restaurant, event, person, or a place, and you will find others wishing they were there, or upset about a recent occurrence and they will tell you all about it! I think the “Check In” feature of some social platforms are to help identify you in a place to entice others to come, or to see if you already know someone there.
Of course, some nefarious schemer will look to see where you “are” so they can break in and steal from your home or business where you “are not” currently at!
#Hashtag’s are an easy way to find those who label things a certain way, and easier to determine which side of a belief system they are on by what they post. Spend some time checking out those that purport to be on one side or the other and you will find their #hashtags shouting their message. Do a search of a particular #hashtag and you will find others supporting the same view from their personal perspective.
Without being too political, I wondered about the #hashtags that Jesus might have used if he were making use of a modern social platform. I mean, He could easily use the single words related to particular examples, messages and teachings within the Gospels.
#righteousness #peace #joy #love #LoveOneAnother #WorshipGod #Repent #FollowMe #FishersofMen #heaven #comforted #inherit #hunger #thirst #merciful #mercy #PureInHeart
This list can go on and on! But what if he wanted to align himself to a particular theme or message used to convict or condemn?
#WithoutSin #FirstStone #WhereAreAccusers #NeitherDoICondemn #go #SinNoMore (John 8:1-11)
No matter what happens to us by those who are on the opposite side, could we not also have his attitude and #hashtag a forgiving message?
#Father #ForgiveThem #TheyKnowNot (Luke 23:34)
Back to my title for a moment… How you tag yourself in messages you communicate identifies you to others who may not know you! Your use of words, phrases, jokes and innuendos have become inflammatory to many. It’s not safe to have a view that is against the social norm as defined by those who shout others down. This is not to say that what you communicate is bad, but there will always be someone on the other side of the phrase that will take offense at your message. In this modern day, an offense spoken is often a spark of violent reaction.
Even those who have made a great living poking fun at everyone, including themselves, know better than to go around some zones. It would seem those who want you to be tolerant are themselves very intolerant when the message is construed as politically incorrect… Comedian Jerry Seinfeld says he no longer performs at college events.
“I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC.’”
PC… Politically Correct. (#PC #HateSpeech #Colleges #Seinfeld #Jerry #JerrySeinfeld) Is there something wrong with this? Perhaps. Too me the #PC has become politically incorrect… (#politically #incorrect)… They create this tone where civil conversation is no longer allowed. They shout so as to intimidate. They march. Destroy things. All to try and convince you to get on their side of the fence. No. Not that #fence that #Trump is talking about.
It’s simple. We’ve become polar opposites and cannot even meet at the equator for a civil conversation. Everyone is fearful of the backlash, and are concerned they will lose jobs, family and friends! (We have seen this happen even this year!) Become a pariah. Ostracized. Persona non grata… A leper. (Whoa! I apologize to those suffering with leprosy! I don’t want you to think that you are part of the #PC conversation of today! Please, excuse me.)
Nearly 30 years ago I worked with a fellow who kept threatening to leave the country if so and so were elected, or such and such happened. I kept telling him to leave (jokingly), but he never went. I’ve spoken with some recently who feel like their only option is to bail and run from this arena, but when you look at the rest of the world, can you answer the question as to “where”? There is no safe place that is safer than where we are today, so we must work hard at dealing with our issues here. Now.
The other side of the coin is how you tag someone else based on their words or action. Those with money will simply travel for a while, leaving the rest of us to struggle through the discourse. Or so it is said by several I’ve heard recently. So, what tag will you place on them? #Chicken? #1percenters? #Rich
Perhaps the conversation needs to be begin with each of us and our circle of influence. Determine a way to have civil discourse. But please! Keep it off of social media!