This might be an embarrassing admission of age and cluelessness, but I really never understood hashtags. I could say a lot about my conflicting (and often hypocritical) stances regarding privacy and social media; my long standing boycott against 'Facebook', that feels much less righteous (and far more self righteous) in the face of years of public blogging... not to mention Instagram, which brings me alternating joy and skepticism. It's all very complicated, and my own thoughts aren't even firm enough for me to grasp hold of them, let alone summarize them.
two months / eight months / ten months
But thanks to the evening news, hashtags are a phenomenon that even my technology absent mother is aware of, and they're very confusing. Having never embraced 'Twitter', my first hand experience is solely on Instagram, where it seems like the purpose is either to call out a brand #heymykidiswearingthiscool(andprobablypricey)jumper, or to kind of say something under your virtual breath #ineedadrink. I'm sort of drawn to the latter, as parenthetical thoughts are very appealing, in case you hadn't noticed! The strange part though, is that this opens you up to be lumped in with everyone else who tagged their image with those same words, and as I learned the hard way, spam followers just searching for fellow #veggielovers, or what have you.
So I put the kibosh on the hashtags, #hashtagfree. But then I started taking monthly pictures of our baby girl sprawled out on a blanket, and I finally figured out a legitimate purpose for those silly tags! They just organize your own images together, and as long as you pick a tag that is pretty obscure, and check that no one else is using it, you can enjoy cute baby pictures, all neatly ordered and with zero effort. I haven't gone too crazy, but when one is occasionally stuck in traffic*, it can be kind of addictive.
three months / nine months / twelve months
I am still full of concerns with all of this stuff, but in those moments where I can just shove all of that aside and relax, it's really fun to have these little squares of lightening speed baby growth, laid out for me to see and sniffle over. This was one fast year!
*as a passenger in that traffic, just to be clear.