#NothingWasTheSame: 4 Ways Hashtags Revolutionized The Internet

The Internet and social media have been connecting people since its creation.

We’re able to converse with people we normally couldn't have even met 10 years ago.

When Twitter came out with hashtags in 2007, it changed the way we, as users, interacted.

Now, all social media sites incorporate some kind of hashtag into their algorithms and databases.

But, hashtags aren’t only used to connect people socially. They also play important roles in other aspects of lifestyle and culture.

Activism

Using social media for activism and protesting isn't a new thing.

However, utilizing a hashtag to reach more than just your followers and friends is a way to get your message across to a wider audience.

Social media houses an open global community for citizens to have a voice and make an impact on social change in real time.

Sometimes, they can even help globalize a cause and bring forth change, like the Arab Spring.

Using hashtags creates a broader audience for a specific, similar area of interest.

In 2014, activism via hashtags shaped many social movements happenings, and allowed people from all over the world to get real-time updates on events in remote places.

#BlackLivesMatter and #Ferguson were widely used during the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and it spread across the nation like wildfire.

Live-Tweeting

During award shows, my favorite thing to do is read through hashtags.

Entertainment fields such as music, TV shows and movies are all a great way to bring people together.

When you add a platform to utilize people’s opinions and voices through live-tweeting, you bring more people together and increase circulation.

Take Katy Perry’s recent Super Bowl XLIX halftime show, the most watched halftime show ever with 118.5 million viewers.

Twitter exploded when Missy Elliot, who hasn’t been on stage in what feels like years, made a guest appearance.

And who can forget the dancing sharks? It was so viral that #LeftShark became the highest trending topic that week.

When Beck won Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammy Awards, Twitter broke out with the hashtag #WhoIsBeck, which revealed that many viewers had no idea who the artist even was.

Though talented and extremely well-known, many people thought Sam Smith or Beyoncé deserved the award instead.

Live Q&As

People always dream of what it would be like to meet and speak to their favorite celebrities.

Although you can’t exactly pounce on them in person, Twitter utilizes hashtags to create live Q&As with celebrities and brands. Users and fans then have direct access to them.

By utilizing a hashtag such as #Ask___, fans and users can ask anything they want. Of course, not all of the questions can be answered with the millions of users on Twitter’s database.

But, you will have a better chance of asking Ryan Gosling if he’ll have your babies than you had before.

Sometimes, Q&As are actually hilarious.

When EL James, the author of "Fifty Shades of Grey," hosted a live Q&A on Twitter to promote her new book, the process backfired.

Instead, people asked her questions about her poor writing, domestic abusive undertones and why she insisted on living.

Style Inspiration

Using hashtags to find new haircuts, hairstyles, makeup ideas and fashion is great for everyone.

When I feel like changing up my look, I love to use Instagram’s hashtags to see what other people are doing for tips and tricks.

Hashtags like #StyleInspiration and #Fashion are great ways to see bloggers and their wardrobes to help you come up with your own twist on things.

When I want to switch up my haircuts, I always look up #HairGoals or things of similar nature to find something I love.

Sometimes, the best inspiration comes from places you’d never expect.

On Instagram, the second top hashtag used is #Fashion, with over 240 million photos shared.

By bringing a picture into the bigger world of hashtags instead of just your Instagram account, you open your availability and viewership to all of Instagram's users.

It's a great way for people to socialize and market themselves, all while having fun along the way.