We're enraged. We're hurt. It's clear from the sheer volume of think pieces, donation drives, and valuable resources I come across on Instagram every day. But as a Black woman all too familiar with prejudice going unchecked, I can't express how overwhelming it is to not only witness this collective boiling point, but to also wait for the non-Black people in my life to respond. My job as a social media editor means I'm on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and every other platform–soaking it all up like a sponge. But as I've perused, I've wondered: Will my friends post in solidarity? Will they share something problematic? Will they share anything at all? There's an unnameable anxiety I've experienced when tapping through Instagram Stories, waiting to see if they will finally understand that systemic racism is an issue, that police brutality is a human rights crisis, while at the same time zig-zagging past images of graphic violence. Social media was a minefield these past two weeks, but thankfully, texts with friends were a sanctuary.
One day after checking in with the group chat, and declaring to log off Instagram for the next century, my friend Alysha surprised me with this text:
Within the text was a thoughtful curation of the things we both loved—a bite-sized treat of inspiration and beauty, needed so badly at a time like this. It completely lifted my mood.
As we continue to educate ourselves and learn about social justice causes to invest in, chances are, someone in your life is in desperate need of a hug. They may be out of reach for now, so instead, take the opportunity to send over some virtual TLC. Here’s what I advise:
First, the goods
Curate three (or more!) cheerful links. They can be anything! But I’ve got some ideas.
- A beauty product that embodies their personality
- A movie that you think they’d love from a streaming service they have
- An Instagram account you’ve been stalking that’s just their vibe
- A mixtape album of music they love, available on YouTube/Spotify/Apple Music etc.
- An old music video that’ll make them feel nostalgic
- Some art they’d appreciate, or at least very much like looking at
Then, the text
Craft a nice little message to accompany them. Maybe you'll seize the chance to wax poetic about your amazing friend, or send a simple "I'm thinking about you and love you" and let the links do the talking. Whatever you choose to type, make sure it's heartfelt.
And wait for the love to come in!
This is my virtual care package to all of you during this time. Let me know how yours works out in the comments, yea?
Photo via ITG