Hoboken’s Social Media Obsessions

Jeffrey Somers
May 31, 2018 11:01 PM

Love it or hate it, the fact is social media is both a necessity for living these days—as well as a treasure trove of digestible information. Well, sure, you could live without social media, as long as you also want to live without cute photos of baby animals and pithy jokes from folks who really should have something better to do—but who would want to?All kidding aside, Twitter and Facebook, Insta and every other social media platform offer a continuous stream of info which can be analyzed to reveal what we, as a community are obsessed with at any given moment in history. Someday historians will plug the hashtag #Hoboken into a futuristic artificial intelligence and ask it what we were so worked up about, and as far as we here at HoLi can tell after a super scientific research project, the following three things are what will define us as a community.

Why Are There Fireworks?

The second you hear the dull roar of fireworks somewhere in the near distance, Twitter lights up like a pinball machine with frenzied residents all asking a variation on the question: why!WHY ARE THERE FIREWORKS! Now, anyone who’s had to comfort disturbed doggos or figure out if they’re hearing a celebration or an invasion from Bayonne knows that it’s always weird to suddenly hear fireworks when you’re aware of any sort of holiday, but the obsession we have with knowing the reason why is kind of baffling. Does knowing that it’s the grand opening of a new store in Newport make the cacophony any easier to bear?


Hobokenites love their brunch. That’s really all there is to it, but social media is a pretty steady stream of photos of French Toast, eggs any style, and bottomless mimosas, often without even identifying the place you’re at. Look, brunch is a decadent unnecessary complication to our meal structure, but you do you—if a weird boozy meal in-between breakfast and lunch seems like a good idea, by all means. But the future historians are gonna wonder why we got so excited for a meal that’s basically breakfast for Day Drinkers. Wait, I think we just answered our own question. Carry on.

Hoboken’s Over

Our favorite is the constant refrain that Hoboken was once a cool place but is no longer, usually tweeted/posted by folks who no longer live here or near here. It comes in many forms—from the blunt “Jersey City is better”-style tweets to the enigmatic “why does anyone still hang out in Hoboken” variations. If you’re over Hoboken, that’s fine—there are other places to grab a beer and bite or live your life, for sure. The need to put us on blast seems a little weird, though.Of course, plenty of social media with a Hoboken tag is cheerful, funny, insightful, or informative as people let each other know whether the PATH is running on time, or if Washington Street is a hot mess due to the roadwork, or that the Mad Hatter is essentially 1-Republik in a funny hat. The fact that these three obsessions repeat endlessly doesn’t mean you should quit Twitter and reactivate your MySpace. But it does mean maybe cool it with the brunch photos.

Jeffrey Somers
Staff Writer
Jeff Somers (jeffreysomers.com) is the author of 9 novels including We Are Not Good People (wearenotgoodpeople.com) and the publisher of The Inner Swine (innerswine.com). Jeff may be reach at jeff@HobokenLife.co . Follow him on Twitter at @jeffreysomers .