The secret life of rare Instagram hashtags

It all started a few years back when my friends and I first jumped on the Instagram bandwagon: it was innocent, it was fun; we posted pictures of juggalos at the video store and hashtagged #juggalolife. However since the earlier days of my grams, I must say I’ve become way choosier in the way I use the app, not posting as many funny posts but rather more pictures that are of some sort of worth, capturing some specific place through my travels (OK fine, maybe some funny shit every now and again).

And after a serious 3 or so years of posting, tagging, following, interacting, etc., etc., I must say I’ve been guilty of getting lost in the filtered world of those who are on the same brain wavelength, hashtagging what I’ve thought to be some of the most “original” tags out there. But no. Ohhh no. Remember: there’s over 1.6 BILLION posts, so don’t think for one second that you’re being unique with your tags, because for every Instagram hashtagged photograph that’s legit, there’s another that totally disproves it.

For instance: the other day I was scrolling through and I forget whose photo I commented, “#soswaggy”, but when I clicked to see who actually also thought in their mind to also link “so swaggy”, I was shocked (like, SHOCKED!) at what I had found: a series of thousands upon thousands of photographs that were mostly teenagers taking none other than, you guessed it, selfies (AND group selfies, in case you weren’t terrified enough already).

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I’m not too sure where these kids get the thought in their head that they are in any way, shape, or form “so swaggy”, but seriously: over 4,000 pictures like this! Crazy!

Don’t get me wrong, once in a blue moon there’s a chance you’ll be the first to hashtag something, or maybe be one of like, six human beings that’s mind thought to hashtag something, but like I said, there’s likely a series of selfies to follow your once original thought. 

In the meantime, while it’s fun to link your photos with the whole world, be mindful; nobody likes a meaningless tag.




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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.