If you woke up yesterday, picked up your phone, and immediately wondered if the murder hornets broke Instagram because every image was appearing as a black square, you're not alone.
A lot of people were taken by surprise by #BlackoutTuesday, probably because it wasn't meant for them. It was organized over the weekend as a music industry event for professionals in a business that has historically been pretty shitty to black artists to halt the self-promo and even their services for one day to listen to the community. At some point, it spread beyond the entertainment industry to regular folks, who encouraged even untalented white people to go silent for a day on social media to give black voices a turn at the mic. So far, so good, right?
But they forgot a crucial fact: White people are physically incapable of shutting up. Instead of just not posting anything, which necessarily precludes the possibility of likes, reacts, or whatever, they had to post about not posting anything. Gotta keep those hearts coming at any cost, to the point of metaphysical contradiction, hence the sea of black squares. After all, if a white person supports a black person and no one is around to see it, did they really end racism?
This eventually became a problem beyond a healthy amount of eye-rolling. Many of these people were tagging their useless squares with the Black Lives Matter hashtag, literally blacking out the results at a time when people desperately need information.
It happened, for example, to be Voting Day in many states. But who cares about that when you could just send the visual manifestation of thoughts and prayers?
Top image: Unsplash/Paul Hanaoka