2015: A year in hashtags

Kris Stewart,
Managing Editor

#Trump dominated the trending topics section across all social media platforms due to his crass, unfiltered comments on immigration, terrorism and pretty much every other subject brought up during GOP debates. With suggestions like deporting all Muslims, suggesting that Hispanics that come to the US are rapists and murderers or discussing how we need to penetrate the internet to stop terrorism, he continues to prove that he is not only one of the worst presidential candidates for the current election but he’s also unmolested by intelligence.


The world was viewed through a rainbow filter when the Supreme Court of the United States approved same sex marriage across all 50 states which sent the hashtag #OneLove flying up the trending topic list.

#HillaryClinton was interviewed for 11 hours about #Benghazi, which was more of an interrogation in which they brought up the use of her personal email account.

#Paris suffered two terrorist attacks this year. The first, on Jan. 7 targeted the weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo, a weekly French magazine known for its satirical content, leaving 12 people dead. Ten months later, on Nov. 13, ISIS claimed attacks at State de France, cafes, restaurants and concert halls, leaving 130 dead and 368 injured. People joined in solidarity with Paris by changing their Facebook photos to include the colors of the Paris flag and using the hashtag #PrayforParis.

The U.S. endured our own terrorist attack when an ISIS enthusiast opened fire on his company’s Christmas party in #SanBernardino which left 14 killed and 22 injured.

King #Kaepernick, quarterback for the 49ers, was kicked off his throne after suffering an injury which took him out for the rest of the NFL season. Rumors began to circulate suggesting that he will probably not return to the 49ers next year.

The Golden State Warriors took home the NBA Championship for the first time in 40 years. Largely due to fan favorite and point guard Stephen Curry, the team is still going strong with a current season of 33 2. Will #DubNation continue to dominate and make it to the ship? We’ll have to wait and see but signs are looking good.


The #BlackonCampus hashtag surfaced following the resignation of Tom Wolfe, former president of the University of Missouri. Wolfe stepped down after students and faculty protested in response to how the university dealt with issues of racism on campus. Students began using the hashtag to share their experiences of being Black on campus. One tweeted, “#BlackOnCampus feeling the need to tone down my emotions- including anger- because of the fear of being seen as “ratchet” or “ghetto”.” Others used the hashtag to initiate a conversation about possible solutions and tweeted things like, “What can we do in order to move forward? I’m already starting a plan for MLK 2016 here in Kansas. #BlackOnCampus.”

#RachelDolezal, former NAACP President of the Spokane chapter in Washing- ton, was exposed for her misidentification as a Black woman. Outed by a viral video which showed a reporter ask Dolezal if she was Black and her stammer in search of an answer other than a straight “yes”, the term #transracial began to float around Twitter which Dolezal offered as a justification and explanation of her racial facade. She described herself as being born the wrong ethnicity and compared being transracial to being transgender.

Hip-hop heads went “cray” when Kendrick Lamar dropped #ToPimpAButterfly. With a fist in the air, this album was a panther’s anthem with lyrics like, “Sneak me through the back window, I’m a good field n***a/I made a flower for you outta cotton just to chill with you/You know I’d go the distance, you know I’m ten toes down/ Even if master listenin’, cover your ears, he ‘bout to mention” from his song Complexion (A Zulu Love). Consciously aware during a time when #BlackLivesMatter continues to swing off the lips of the Black community, this album served as a mouthpiece for neighborhoods seeking to thrive in spite of those violent environments.

The music community clutched their pearls when #Adele stepped back on the scene. Saying “Hello” after being gone for three years, in only seven weeks her newest album “25” had already become 2015’s most popular album in the US according to Billboard. With 7.44 million in traditional album sales and more than eight million total equivalent album units winning over Taylor Swift’s “1989”, Justin Beiber’s “Purpose” and Ed Sheeran’s “X”.


The force awoke when #StarWars the Force Awakens was released. Although, the largest grossing film of 2015 domestically earning $750 million, Jurassic World dominated as the largest grossing film worldwide with more than 1.6 billion in earnings. I guess the world is favorable to dinosaurs than Jedis.

This year Oxford Dictionary proclaimed the word of the year is ios_emoji_face_with_tears_of_joy. That’s right, it’s not a word at all but an emotion — an #emoji to be exact. Emory’s aren’t new. In fact, they’ve been around since the late 90’s. However, in 2015, emoji usage including use of the word emoji increased greatly, tripling the usage in the previous year. So this year, Oxford University Press partnered with Swiftly to discover just how popular emojis are worldwide. ios_emoji_face_with_tears_of_joy was chosen as the #OxfordWOTY because it was the most used emoji in the world.

NPR described 2015 as being the year of the period. After presidential candidate Donald Trump referred to the GOP moderator, Megan Kelly as having “blood coming out of her everywhere,” during comments given on CNN Tonight, the inner feminist began to rise up in women internationally. The hashtag #PeriodsAreNotAnInsult was born as women discussed the problems they have surrounding their periods. Woman began to display their feminism in various ways to support the effort to break down the taboo and stigma surrounding women’s menstrual cycles. One woman, Kiran Gandhi, ran the London Marathon while on her period without the use of pads or tampons and finished the race with a stain on her leggings to enforce the normalcy of menstruation.

Leave it to this generation to take something as calm and relaxing as #NetflixandChill and turn it into something dirty. What started as a way to describe a quiet evening at home, binge watching TV shows on a Saturday afternoon or watching movies after a long day at work has now become a sexual innuendo. The next time you invite your friend over for a little #NetflixandChill don’t be surprised if there’s a little slap and tickle in between episodes. Try inviting them over for #HuluandRelaxation and see if you get better results.