Hashtag society

Ever wondered where hashtags come from? They are everywhere. On social media, you can hardly type or search for anything without using a hashtag. If you do a bit of research (Google is your friend) you will realize that the hash (#) is a symbol that was primarily and significantly used to denote special meaning. But then the social network took over and we are where we are today. From a symbol to a trend.

The use of this hash from a basic symbol to a tag on social media, which makes it easy for people to search and find information on social networks, has become a phenomenon. This widespread use lead to the term “hashtag” being included in the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014. This means that before June 2014, the term Hashtag was not officially a word, it was just a thing.

Today, we all have contributed to this widespread use of the term hashtag. It’s part of our daily lives. Not many days go by without us using a hashtag. It’s become part our digital interaction.

This widespread use has also contributed to a lot of good and sometimes bad things. Topics discussed on social media gain global traction when hashtags are used. There is some power in a hash, there is evidence of this. In Egypt when the corrupt government was overthrown, the rise of the Arab Spring, the use of hashtags within the social media space contributed to that government collapsing. And we’ve seen it in the Oscar trial, where everything that was said about Oscar was hashtagged #Oscartrial or #OscarPistorious.

More recently in South Africa, we’ve seen the rise of #Feesmustfall. This gained so much attention that there were people in other countries who were willing to join the march to have the fees fall. The funny part now is, when we don’t like something, then “it must fall”. Example are #corruptionmustfall #Zumamustfall, and even in sport you had #NewZealandmustfall, when SA played New Zealand in the rugby world cup.

This really got me thinking, as a Christian, what else should fall? With these hashtags that we participate in – tweet, retweet, tag etc. with such conviction and emotion, could I do the same for my Christian walk? Can I use a hashtag that could describe my attitude and feeling within my Christian walk? And in this season of things “falling” my hashtag is #mysinmustfall. This means that #myselfcentrednessmustfall #myenvymustfall #myliesmustfall #mymaliciousspeechmustfall #myidolsmustfall. And I should be convinced of this, committed to having my sin fall. With the strength of the Holy Spirit, I am able to keep my sin in check and focusing on giving God the glory. That’s a trend worth following.

And you may ask why #mysinmustfall? It’s because #CHRISTISRISEN! #thetombisempty. He defeated death, conquered sin, overcame the rulers and powers of this age and of this world. He is the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Shepherd and Overseer of our faith and those who put their trust in Him, will have life – eternal life. John 3:16-18.

So as you think of the hashtag #mysinmustfall consider the words found in Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

#Recharge and #ConnectwithGod
Irvine Rambau

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