As nearly everyone knows, 276 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped last month by Boko Haram. Following these horrific kidnappings, two Nigerians tweeted with the hashtag #BringBackOurDaughters.

It wasn’t long before the hashtag changed to its current form: #BringBackOurGirls. Twitter users from around the world united and the hashtag’s usage has now surpassed 3.5 million.

Sadly, four words won’t bring these girls home. But #BringBackOurGirls has helped galvanize international support — and it reminds us that the world is much smaller than we sometimes believe. People do care. I used to think of hashtags as trivial and cute. Not so anymore.

Kristen Thomaselli