What Twitter hashtags tell us about human nature
Twitter have just released their summary of 2015: some of the highest trending hashtags stood out: Jesuischarlie, lovewins, refugeeswelcome. It struck me that these reveal something rather positive about human nature. As social pack animals, humans will never escape their instinct to group together; tribalism is literally in our nature. But tribalism has two distinct sides: the less attractive side that leads to nationalism, racism, religious fundamentalism, football hooliganism and all other cults and sects that have blighted civilisation since we took our first tentative two footed steps on the plains of Africa. And the rather more attractive side: that of human solidarity that leads to helping others, charitable giving, standing up for the downtrodden and activism for good causes.
And if Twitter in any way reflects the human race (and I hope it does), then the hashtags that trend jesuischarlie, lovewins, refugeeswelcome and more recently notinmyname and youaintnomuslimbruv most definitely suggest that the good side of our social instinct that is human solidarity beats the bad side that is tribalism and division. Sadly, this appears less pronounced in the real word but the virtual world is at least a good start.