EDITORS’ CHOICE: Significant and Overused Hashtags of 2013

A cat taking a selfie

It’s been a big year for hashtags, especially since they now work on Facebook. They’re generally a good idea if you want to gain more traffic for your posts. There are some signifying important events, with the latest updates on them. Other hashtags pay respect to a deceased public figure. A few hashtags are even pretty witty. However, there are some on social media, especially Instagram, that are frequently repeated, to the point where it becomes a routine. Don’t lie, you participated in a “Throwback Thursday” or a “Selfie Sunday” before. There are others that are overused, and some that are there just to get likes. Here are some of the most significant, and the overused hashtags of 2013.

Top 5 Significant Hashtags

5. #royalbaby

Prince William and Princess Kate with son Prince George

It’s safe to say that Twitter all but broke the day baby George Alexander Louis was born in July. Millions of people – phones in hand, of course – were patiently waiting for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to reveal their new bundle of royal joy. They passed the time coming up with hashtags like #royalbabywatch and #wearewaitingforyou. After @ClarenceHouse, the couple’s official Twitter account, tweeted about the baby’s delivery, politicians, celebrities and the rest of us commoners welcomed baby George with #welcometotheworld. Nifty. – Marwa Hassan

4. #RIPCoryMonteith

Cory Monteith and Lea Michele

Recently, “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy confessed how he planned to end the show before star Cory Monteith’s passing. Rachel (Lea Michele), a Broadway Star, would tell Finn (Monteith), now a teacher. Sound familiar? It was mentioned by Rachel in “The Quarterback”, the tribute episode for Monteith. The Canadian actor was found dead following an accidental overdose, and shocking “Glee” fans and fellow celebrities alike on Twitter. Although “Glee” has been on air for five seasons so far, the Monteith memorial displayed the support the show’s received overall in honour of it’s male lead. – Emily Stewart

3. #bostonstrong

Boston Strong Logo

April 15th saw the tragic Boston Marathon bombings that killed 5 people and injured almost 300. On the same day, students Chris Dobens and Nick Reynolds of Emerson College came up with “Boston Strong”, a logo they put on t-shirts they thought could raise both awareness and money for the victims of the attack. The hashtag was born and adopted by Twitter users everywhere who wanted to express support and well wishes. Boston Strong was able to collect over a million dollars. – Marwa Hassan

2. #justicefortrayvon

Justice for Trayvon Martin Sign

Last summer, people who were following George Zimmerman’s trial were hoping he would be sentenced for teen Trayvon Martin’s death. However, he wasn’t found guilty for any of his charges. Why? Because his reason for the shooting resonated with his neighbourhood watch program. An outcry emerged on social media from users who thought the closing of the case was unjust. According to philly.com, the hashtags from 2012, such as #iamtrayvon were used again to honour him on social media. In November, Macklemore dedicated his American Music Award Win to Martin, and to other people subject to racial injustice. Martin’s untimely death, and the sentencing, is considered unfair because of Zimmerman’s assumption from just a hoodie. The use of social media indicates how many people are still fighting against racial injustice to this date, and why it must end. – Emily Stewart 

1. #RIPMandela

Nelson Mandela

2013 experienced the loss of one of the world’s most respected leaders, Nelson Mandela. Following his death, social media sites, especially Twitter, exploded with messages of heartfelt condolences from political leaders, actors, musicians, and people from all walks of life. Tweets included personal anecdotes, memorable quotes, as well as images and snippets of Mr. Mandela and the honorable life he lead.

Top 5 Overused Hashtags

5. #nofilter

Looking through Instagram photos on an iPhone

It’s pretty obvious when someone uses a filter, especially if you use Instagram frequently. Even if you don’t, it’s clear when a user cherry picks an effect to change the look of their photo. The only possible chance a photo doesn’t have a filter, but looks like it has nifty effects, is from speciality cameras, including lomographic. Why do people even use this hashtag? It’s really unnecessary. Who knows, our phones can do pretty neat things nowadays. Maybe people can’t tell if it’s possible to take a good photo without a filter. Still, it’s highly unlikely a phone adds fancy effects to your pictures by default. – Emily Stewart

4. #ootd

An example of an "outfit of the day" (ootd)

This hashtag, used at least a thousand times by virtually everyone with a smartphone, highlighted everyone’s inner fashionista/fashionmista. The acronym stands for “outfit of the day” and is supposed to only accompany photos depicting what users are wearing on said day. I italicize because we all know that one Twitter/IG dweeb who includes the hashtag in photos that clearly display nothing but his guns post-workout. – Marwa Hassan

3. #fitness/#datgymlife

Selfies at the gym

Based on the number of pre/during/post gymming selfies, one can only assume that 2013 must’ve witnessed a mega steep increase in gym memberships. Not only do we get shots of them washboard abs and pumped bi/triceps, but also close-ups of sweat beads – yum! – Marwa Hassan

2. #foodporn

Picture of a picture of food

Before you question it,this hashtag describes appetizing food pictures. There’s an abundance of them online. I’ll even admit that iPhones take excellent food photographs. It’s interesting to see what food is trendy, or what meal people want to share with the world. Some of the photos actually look mouthwatering. Still, the hashtag is not essential for every single picture of food posted online. Yes, your meal looks delicious. No, it’s not necessary to call it food porn. There’s already enough objectification of people in this world. Do we really need to objectify food too? – Emily Stewart 

1. #selfie

A selfie with a cat

It’s the word of the year, and the top of this list. You know a hashtag is overused when it becomes a word for Oxford Dictionaries Online. Not only are some selfies completely ridiculous, but we can tell you took a picture of yourself.You can turn the camera to face you on your phone. There’s a shower (or something worse) in the background. We can see your arm in the photo. Many other hashtags, including #selfieswithfriends and #selfiesunday have emerged because of this hashtag alone. Again, too obvious! It’ll be interesting, to say the least, what will be 2014’s overused hashtag.- Emily Stewart

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