Internet Speech I've Grown to Dislike (or Don't Understand)

Here are some internet speech trends I’ve observed and now I would like to make stop if I could: 1. The “Oh, hey” phenomenon.

Sure, we all had a good heart-smile when we saw it the first few times on our news feed. “That’s a cute way to announce where you are or who you are seeing,” we thought. Not so much anymore - at least to me. You may not have focused on the prominence of this phenomenon, but I’m sure you have seen it.

Exhibit A: “Oh hey, Chicago!” This person has just arrived in Chicago. Seemingly unexpectedly, as the “Oh hey” implies the whole, “didn’t see ya there” thing.

Exhibit B: “Oh hey, James Franco!” This person has just unexpectedly seen James Franco on the street somewhere. Possibly Chicago.

Exhibit C: “Oh hey, Pizzafest 2k11!” This person has just arrived at Pizzafest 2k11. If this existed, I would probably attend.

I apologize if you do this frequently, but I see it about 12 times a day on my news feed, and I wish to pat it on the back, tell it “you had a good run,” and send it on its way.

2. Facebook “awareness” for awareness’s sake, particularly bra colors for breast cancer awareness and whatever that children’s-cartoon-as-profile-picture was all about.

This is perhaps one of the most perplexing internet phenomenons I’ve come across. I’m just not sure how posting what color your bra is on your facebook status makes any sort of contribution to the fight against breast cancer. I understand if the topic is something no one has heard of, how doing something out of the ordinary like that would attract attention and raise awareness. I also understand if a company is donating money for each person who posts it (then I’d probably post it, too), but I don’t think that has been the case with that particular phenomenon. I think the most constructive way to help breast cancer patients is to donate money to researchers who are discovering ways to defeat it. (If you’d like to do that, I know an organization doing some good work!) Anyway. I don’t understand this and also wish that this would to be put to bed.

3. Hashtag word vomit.

I realize having an opinion on hashtag etiquette to begin with is a little frivolous, but it falls in the category of Internet Speech I’ve Grown to Dislike (or Don’t Understand), so here it is.

In my opinion, hashtags are not for writing a second sentence. Or even a long sentence fragment. Hashtags are, in essence, to categorize what you just wrote. 3-5 words will usually suffice. #thisdoesnotsufficeasanacceptablehashtagbecauseyourwordsruntogetherandnoonecanreadit. You might as well write another sentence so you can at least use spaces. #internetspeech is an acceptable hashtag. It categorizes what I am talking about. Also I think the brevity allows for creative and witty humor, which I like. Of course, you’re free to use hashtags however you like. And there are always exceptions. But that’s just my opinion.

Guess that’s the end of that. Feel free to add to the list if you have internet speech pet-peeves of your own!