Child named “Hashtag” shows social media lingo becoming far too common

By Editorial, Chattanooga, TN—Strange baby names are nothing new, but it appears that this baby girl was born to tweet.

The proud parents of a newborn posted on Facebook, “Hashtag Jameson was born at 10 o’clock last nite. She weys 8pounds and i luv her so much!!!!!!”

Yes, you read that correctly. Through all of the spelling issues, it is easy to pick out the name Hashtag.

The Internet has proved to be revolutionary, and social media has connected the globe in unprecedented fashion, but when is enough, enough?

It has become a frightening reality that the Internet lingo has transcended beyond the computer screen into text messages and everyday conversation. It is common to hear “totes,” “awk” and “fab” sprinkled into conversations or receive a text stamped with a hashtag.

However, it is certainly uncommon to find it in a name.

In an article on Yahoo!, there is speculation that the name could be a marketing ploy for the whiskey brand Jameson so people will use #Jameson, but that seems farfetched and is beside the point.

The larger issue is this child will forever be proof that it is time to take a step back and reevaluate the role of social media in our society.

As journalists, we can recognize the importance of Twitter and Facebook in terms of timeliness and immediacy of news and its impact on today’s style of reporting, but it is easy to get carried away. Social media should remain on the computer screen or on your smart phone, not on a birth certificate.

Allowing Twitter talk to enter our speech could create a dangerous evolution in our language. As our generation goes along, it will be our turn to have children and pass on our ways. If we are using the same language to teach them how to speak as we do when we text our friends, then it will become a domino effect.

Soon enough, it will just become normality, and our speech patterns will reflect a world consumed by the Internet. The English language is constantly evolving and new words are punched into the Dictionary regularly, but it would surely be a shame if Urban Dictionary were to become more credible than Webster’s.

Teachers and professors alike have always urged their students to separate their vernacular from their formal writing. The same can be said for professional environments. I doubt that you would be hired if you told the boss you “totes wanna work there.”

Truth is, your professors are right, and is there a danger that soon there will be no separation between the two once generations start to shift? What will the English language look like just a few years down the road?

People, please keep your social media in check and make sure that you know the boundaries because it just does not belong in some places #forreal.

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