If you have any sort of social media today, you have probably seen people changing their profile pictures on all platforms to plain blue screens. When I first saw this happening, I was confused as to why people were doing this. Then, after seeing it on many platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, I looked it up and saw the devastating story behind the blue screen.
I would say anyone who has a TV and watches the news would know about the horrible humanitarian crisis happening in Sudan at the moment, but the harsh reality is that for a long time while this was going on, no one in other parts of the world knew about it. No one was talking about it on big news channels, and no one knew just how severe the conditions were.
For those of you who do not know what is going on in Sudan, here is a bit of background. Back in April, the country saw an end to their leader's 30-year rule and celebrated it. The military forces stepped into power and said it would be interim, but now they're refusing to relinquish power. Protest camps were set up when the previous leader was in power, and people have chosen to stay in them until the military groups hand the power over to the people. Now, there is no end or terms of an agreement in sight. The military forces have been attacking the camps and killing civilians, and the death count is unknown, as both sides give different numbers.
About a week ago, a sea of blue profile pictures started sweeping through people's social media. This trend was started because the shade of blue was the favorite color of one Mohammed Hashim Mattar, who was just 26-years-old when he was gunned by Sudanese forces. After the profile picture caught on, it became a sign of solidarity and unity in support of the pro-democracy uprisings.
So, an issue this big that started back in April, and no big news channels covered anything about it? Believe me, I was shocked, too. Not a lot of people knew about this until the blue profile pictures started taking over social media, and that is why things like this are SO important. If it weren't for people's activism on social media, a lot of us still would not know a lot of the information we do now about Sudan. Seeing the blue screens forced me to dig deeper into the issue and learn about it myself. Now that I know what is happening, I know the ways I can help. One of the best things about social media is being able to make a difference with your actions and reach millions of people, and that is what has happened with this.