Last Sunday, Shonda Rhimes delivered a smart and resonant commencement speech at her alma mater, Dartmouth College. She packed it full of advice for Ivy League grads, my personal favorite gem being “Don’t be an asshole.” But perhaps the most relevant message she had for today’s generation was her admonishment of so-called “hashtag activism,” very clearly reminding the grads — and the rest of the world — that “a hashtag is not helping.” Here’s what the inimitable Ms. Rhimes had to say on the subject:
Oh. And while we are discussing this, let me say a thing. A hashtag is not helping. #yesallwomen #takebackthenight #notallmen #bringbackourgirls #StopPretendingHashtagsAreTheSameAsDoingSomething
Hashtags are very pretty on Twitter. I love them. I will hashtag myself into next week. But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hashtag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag. It’s you, sitting on your butt, typing on your computer and then going back to binge-watching your favorite show.