Colby College assistant professor Laura Seay does not want us to “take this too seriously.” “I was just goofing around,” she insisted in an interview with The Washington Post. (Seay is a contributor to The Post’s Monkey Cage blog.)

Yet as anyone who teaches at a college knows, it’s hard to get the attention of students these days. Indeed, they have given up on just “getting their attention.”

Now you have to “engage students,” Seay said.

Students.

With their eyes fixed on smartphones and their communication skills limited to 140 characters, hashtags, emoji and txt spk, is it any wonder why her course in African government and politics, at first glance, might not immediately crank their engines?

Besides, Seay admits, she was procrastinating. Seay had not finished her syllabus and the students were about to descend on the campus.

Suddenly it occurred to her.

Clickbait.

With time running out Monday, she began, at first tentatively:

But then, emboldened, she continued.

   And yes, a hashtag was born.

Which did not go unnoticed.

 

And she realized she was on to something.