So 2015 was the year of the hashtag. In a year full of trending twitter topics, celebrity feuds, shade being thrown via social media, award shows, and music (Drake and Meek we’re looking at you) nothing was more prominent on memes and pictures than #insert here.
If you didn’t read these behind a caption or manage to catch the several catchy memes, I am sure you heard it as we found ourself incorporating it into our language. The hashtag lived boldly and proudly in the year of 2015 and moved beyond representing the number sign to signifying a status, goal, a couple to strive for, or the type of friends you have. We are all guilty of the hashtag effect, even me. But in the endless nights spent staring at my screen and finding myself 50 instagram pages deep in a random page devoted to one specific hashtag, I couldn’t help but think, Do I really embody any of these hashtags? Do I live by what I attach to my pictures, tweets, and tags that my friends and boyfriend often wake up after I have found a picture that symbolizes what I think these hashtags are.
The more I thought about it, the more I kept thinking my goals cannot be summed up in a simple hashtag, these few characters do not encompass everything I want my life to be. Is my #SquadGoals important and essential to the friendships and relationships I am trying to build. Not really. In a self- obsessed world hell bent on proving to the masses we have something our neighbor should covet. We are out to prove we have something you cannot have, something exclusive.
Are my friends amazing? Yes. Do we embody what I think of for goals in friendships? I honestly am not sure, though in a idealized world I would like to think so. But who sets the standards for these goals? Often then not this specific hashtag was used in reference to the glamazon girl squad Taylor Swift brought to the forefront. When I think of even comparing my friends to Taylor’s squad I almost cringe because we in no way encompass the elegance, beauty, and power that these women made up of celebrity royalty represent.
Now don’t get me wrong, because my friends are beautiful, unique, powerful, and ingenious souls that I love with all my heart, but I would like to separate myself from the concept that these specific friendships are what anyone should strive for. We should use the hashtag if anything to reflect and build on the goals we have for each other within the friendships to make it the best it can be. I want more than a hashtag to make up the sum total of a picture to amass 50 plus likes on my instagram page.
#RelationshipGoals was used to the fullest extent representing every powerhouse couple from Bey and Jay, Nicki and Meek, Dwayne and Gabrielle, and the list goes on and on. I love celebrity couples, the media loves celebrity couples, we as a society have become engrossed and entrenched with the latest baby news, vacation travels, and gifting they do for each other. We are saturated with it. Let’s be real though-really real. Dating is hard enough as it is, having a committed, healthy relationship nowadays is a unicorn. Why would we ever have the added pressure of trying to live our romantic lives like celebrities? It’s not realistic and puts the kind of stress and expectations that leave so many of us scratching our heads when our significant other cannot give us what we think we want or deserve. What standards have we set for #RelationshipGoals when we the majority of this current generation makes it a rat race to even get to the start of one.
I agree we see the fit couples, sneakerheads, cuddling poses, and endless candid moments that we all would love to share with someone. But a picture captures a moment and is nothing more than a glimpse of a relationship. Anyone of us would love the type of access to the types of experiences celebrity couples have, but a moment in a picture should not be what we expect or want from a relationship. Another couples version of happiness may be what you want, to be happy is what is wanted, but to idealistically live trying to be like a specific couple is setting ourselves up for failure. We are setting ourselves up for failure letting these hashtags dominant our perceptions and ideals of what we think our life should be.
Life is more than a hashtag and we should want to live beyond that. I want more than a candid moment to post on social media in hopes for likes and comments verifying my relationship is of worth because it appears enviable to a friend or follower. I yearn to strengthen my friendships and set goals for each other to have the lifelong relationships that will carry from one milestone to the other. I want to make 2016 the year of no hashtags to live for or present on my life and instead focus on using the hashtag to grow, learn, and build with the people in my life and within myself. Let’s make the type of moments and memories that we don’t immediately feel the need to post on social media with a hashtag following in hopes someone will want what we have.