Hashtag, I am Your Father

What’s in a name?

In the age of social media, hashtags. To be specific a hashtag. Proper.

“Hashtag Jameson” apparently made her way into the world recently, and to mark her entrance, her parents named her after one of the more popular social media symbols around. The “hashtag,” or # symbol, is used primarily on Twitter to mark a trending topic, keyword or subject so that others using the same marker can find each other. Simple right? One would think so, though the introduction of the symbol as a first name may complicate things somewhat. Like it wasn’t hard enough that parents have difficulty naming their babies without having to now add options such as the @ sign, the Facebook “Like” or the Google + to the mix. The possibilities are now even more endless. Sadly.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about individuality, unique baby names and standing out from the crowd. Heck, I’ve even written about my stance on this topic, here, and practice what I preach. That being said, naming a child after what was previously known as a “pound sign” is a bit much in my humble opinion.

On a more serious note, isn’t it hard enough for kids these days considering the (unfortunate) ease of cyber-bullying, the proliferation of those looking for the next “viral” video and and more to worry about? Did the parents really give this decision enough thought, considering the fact that the name “hashtag” is not likely to top those annual lists of the most popular baby names for the year? What will little Hashtag be called for short? “Hash?” “Hashie?” “Hash-Hash?”

Kids can be cruel and while we are living in a more enlightened age than before and our kids are exposed to a diverse range of cultures, the concept that the name “Hashtag” will become the next “Emma” is a bit of a stretch. Kids will be kids and little Hashtag may be at the mercy of the schoolyard or online bullies.

Yes, I know that other parents have embraced the impact of social media in their lives, like the ones who named their child after the Facebook “Like” button and the folks who decided to name their child “Facebook.” While they may have had their reasons, one still wonders if they fully thought their decision through.

I’m really hoping that the baby named “Hashtag” is yet another internet hoax, a viral joke gone awry, and that there isn’t really a child who will have to defend their moniker for years to come. After all, interesting topics on Twitter deserve a hashtag; babies don’t.

What do you think of the parent’s decision to name their child “Hashtag?” Do you think that these types of names will become more popular as social media use increases? Answer in the comments below.


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Image courtesy of www.slate.com

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