Ever since Aspen was born, we’ve only spoken to her in hashtags. #Love. #GotMilk. #STFUMommyandDaddyHaventSleptin72Hours. Like so many first-generation Twitter users in the United States, my native language is Late 20th Century English Internet Slang. My husband and I agree that complete sentences will soon become obsolete, and we don’t want Aspen to be hindered at school with multi-word communication. Although some people (#RudeMIL) have expressed concern about us raising our daughter in a hashtag-only home, we are convinced we are grooming our daughter for success and shouldn’t bother listening to a busybody who thinks an “emoticon” is a kind of car. Here are just a few of the benefits of teaching our child to use a number sign before everything she says:
Our Daughter is a Preschool Trailblazer
You should see the looks that Aspen gets when she talks to the other kids in hashtags—#Mine! #WTH? #BRB. Such awe and puzzlement! Because most of them aren’t lucky enough to be raised in hashtag-only homes, they defer to her superior grasp of the metadata tags and instead engage in more pedestrian preschool communication, a far more efficient way of communicating at their age! Unfortunately, the older teachers aren’t well-versed in hashtags, either, and have had to request the transfer of Aspen to a class with younger instructors who understand our precocious daughter when she wants to show the class a “#TBT” picture on Share Day and don’t call security when she innocently mentions wanting to launch a “#TwitterBomb” protesting the lack of crayon options. (#Srsly)
Total Immersion is the Only Way to Achieve Fluency
We dream of the day when our daughter gives her valedictorian speech in hashtags, or when she backpacks through Silicon Valley, speaking with social media gurus in their native tongue. Studies have shown the only way to become totally fluent in a language—and realize those lofty dreams—is through total immersion (in this case, immersion into social media metadata usage). We’ve even hashtagged her favorite books, condensing the stories into a single tag: #Gud9Moon; #WTFCuriousGeorge and #DontLetthePigeonDrivetheBusLol. It not only saves us the trouble of reading the burdensome, multi-worded tales when all we want to do is chug some Pinot noir and go to sleep, but it also shows our daughter how to be succinct in a world with an ever-decreasing attention span.
We Can Finally Catch Up to China
As my Uncle Ron aptly pointed out, “China’s been talking with weird symbols for centuries”—and you see how well they’re doing now. China has become the leading trading nation, has more foreign currency reserves than any other country, and is not encumbered by the English language. It’s about time Americans take a page from their book and see how we flourish using a system of symbols.
All I know for sure is, at some point in the near future, people will stop talking to each other altogether in favor of communicating by text, Twitter, and Instagram, even while they’re in the same room—and we want to make sure our daughter is on the forefront, eyes glued to her smartphone, fingers poised and ready to peck out the catchiest hashtags. #FTW!