Guys, we’re warning you right now: you’re about to get a little weepy. Maybe not immediately, but I promise you, if you’re one of Twitters 300,000,000 (yes, that’s three hundred million) users, we’re putting good odds on a touch of mistiness by the end, because 2015 may go down as the year that Twitter taught us how to come together. Here are some of the biggest hashtags of the year, as reported by Twitter.
Je Suis Charlie/Je Suis Paris
France was on our minds a lot this year. The devastating terrorist attacks on Paris’ culture gave us both a brutal beginning and end to the year, with shootings at humor magazine Charlie Hedbo in January and the multi-venue attacks that took more than 130 lives in November. Twitter rose to the occasion in both instances with millions of supporters tweeting out thoughts of solidarity, strength, and compassion to the City of Lights during some of their darkest hours.
Black Lives Matter
One of the most powerful modern protest movements in American history is also one of the first born and raised on Twitter; #BlackLivesMatter was tweeted more than nine million times throughout 2015. The hashtag, created as a cry for unification in recognition of enormous, systemic racial injustice, travels the halls of Twitter over and over again to bring attention to the brutal miscarriages of justice which continue to destroy the lives of black Americans.
While the struggle for civil rights continues, it’s pretty damn nice to celebrate a victory once in a while. In June of 2015, the US Supreme Court made a sweeping decision that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states, largely ending years of state-by-state battles to gain equal marriage rights for gay couples. Around the US, monuments lit up in rainbows to symbolize the resounding win for equality.
The world took another step toward our future in July, when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto, bringing us our best images of the planet (I’m sorry, Dr. Tyson, I mean the dwarf planet) as the world watched and tweeted; at its peak, the hashtag was getting more than 3000 tweets per minute.
Okay, if unification, fights for rights, and the advancement of science haven’t made you cry, maybe recalling this agonizing saga will. In February, the whole world went to near Purge levels of insanity over a photograph of a dress. An optical illusion combined with individual differences of light perception made the dress appear white and gold to some, blue and black to others, and for the real nuts (this author included) appeared to shift back and forth. It maybe wasn’t Twitter’s finest moment, but it nonetheless generated 4.4 million tweets in two days and we’re betting ended more than a few marriages.
We had a pretty epic hashtag year this 2015, this cannot be denied, and we’re on pins and needles to see what 2016 brings.
(Image via Shutterstock)