Hashtags + Community

It’s no secret that I enjoy social media and Twitter was one of the first to get me hooked. And that’s where hashtags have their origins. But even if you don’t do Twitter, hashtags have creeped into other social media platforms and even into everyday speech {ugh}.

Mandi Ehman wrote on her blog this week about the #boymom hashtag and how it is encouraging gender stereotypes. At first I was offended because I use that hashtag often, but after reading through her post, I realized it’s the not the hashtag she has a problem with, but rather how people are using it. I get that.

Here’s my take on hashtags:


I use hashtags to find and join a community of similar people. I know when I search through the #boymom hashtag, I’m going to find other boy moms! If I want to connect with other moms who run, I know #motherrunner will get me there. I know I can search the #packers hashtag during a game and find people commiserating about the last touchdown or missed field goal.

Some hashtags are funny, some are for contests, some are for events, but I believe in the power of hashtags to develop community if we use them well. But just like any other form of social media, we need to use these hashtags honestly to reflect the community as a whole.

Mandi makes the point in her post that most pictures and posts in the #boymom hashtag streams include dirt and cars and bugs, but that is not what EVERY boy mom experiences. My boys hate bugs. They enjoy baking with me. If we only use the #boymom hashtag on stereotypical “boy” things, we’re not really inviting a REAL, full community of all boy moms.

Does every homeschool situation look the same? No, but lots of people use the #homeschool hashtag and find a diverse community of homeschoolers there. The #motherrunner hashtag has brand new runners and experienced marathoners, but there is community found in the common ground of being mothers who run.

My MOB Society co-founder, Brooke, shared a great perspective on hashtags in the comments of Mandi’s post:

For me, using that hashtag, and creating an entire community just for #boymoms is about just that…community. When I use that hashtag it’s because I’m reaching out to the very population God has called me to stand in the gap for. It’s about bringing people in to a group of like-minded people.

I am social. I love community. I over-hashtag a lot, but I know it will bring me to more like-minded people and connecting with those new people is energizing to me. I will keep using the #boymom hashtag, but not just for “boy” things. Baking or crafting with my boys is no less of a #boymom experience that catching frogs or going fishing.

Let’s be wise and honest in our use of hashtags, but let’s also have fun with the community they bring – that was the point of hashtags in the first place, right?!

Some of my favorite hashtag communities:

  • #fridayintroductions {Instagram}
  • #Huskers {duh}
  • #mobsociety
  • #surprisedbymotherhood
  • #motherrunner
  • #amwriting
  • #fmfparty {Twitter}

What are your favorite hashtags to follow? Which hashtags have formed great community for you?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook