The results of the 2016 presidential election have left many feeling utterly lost, disappointed, and helpless. President-elect Donald Trump walked away victorious in a decision that I, for one, cannot understand. Many of us have taken to social media to voice our sadness and anger, which is why you might see people posting black photos on Instagram. It's one of many ways internet users are expressing their dissatisfaction with — and in many cases, heartbreak over — 2016's election results.
The protest is happening across several social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, with thousands of users updating their profile pictures and avatars to simple black squares or posting them in status updates. In their messages, they're sometimes including hashtags like #NotMyPresident and #ImStillWithHer, pushing back against the man that may have won the electoral vote but actually lost the popular vote, according to recent tallies. While the exact meaning behind the plain black profile images hasn't been defined, one possibility is that social media users are treating it as a symbol of dark times. It's an eerily quiet way to protest, albeit one that we've all taken notice of.
Some people have already tired of the "whiners" and "complainers," and I've seen more than one person on my social media sites telling us to "get over it." But it's going to take a little longer for this sting to settle down. In the meantime, there's a blackout.
If you're making the decision to protest online (which is absolutely your right), I simply ask you to remember that hate will never beat hate; violence — verbal, physical, or otherwise — just begets more violence. We've resisted Trump because of his bullying ways (among other things), so let's not stoop to that level. This social media blackout is one of many ways you can make your opinion heard without contributing to the hate and fear that has taken over.