What Twitter taught me about #fireflies

Over the past year, I’ve learned a lot about Twitter hashtags. For instance:

#firefly will usher you directly into the cult kingdom of the TV series Firefly, a sci-fi  classic billed by its creator as “nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things.” firefly TVThe story centers on the crew of Serenity, a Firefly-class starship (when it took off, the ship’s tail section lit up). Premiered on Fox in 2002, the show featured a smart script, terrific ensemble acting, heartthrob Nathan Fillion, and a great theme song. In spite of all this, and to the eternal dismay of its many loyal fans, the show went extinct after just a single season. But on Twitter, it lives on.

Meanwhile, #fireflies yields an endless stream of tweets and Youtube remixes posted by fans of the song “Fireflies” by Owl City. Topping the US and Canadian charts in 2009, this song ties together insomnia, fireflies and summer.  Most frequently tweeted are these lyrics:

You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep…

‘Cause I’d get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance

Go ahead, watch it – their YouTube video has over 200 million views! Personally, I’m not crazy about this song because the firefly scenario is scientifically implausible. (Since you asked, here’s my favorite firefly song by Colin & Caroline.)  But recently I got won over by this lucid and charming explanation posted on the Owl City FaceBook page:

fireflies owl city

#fireflies #wonder Every summer, rising above the noise, these hashtags will lead you to folks who are reveling in the pure joy of seeing fireflies – the actual bioluminescent insects – some people for the very first time. And for me, this #MakesItAllWorthwhile.twitter first time.jpg