Selfies and sunsets be gone: The latest Instagram trend is PowerPoint-style presentations

Earlier this year, scrolling through Instagram and encountering a 10-part PowerPoint-style presentation with multiple citations would have been unexpected. But amid protests against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd, people have turned to social media to learn about topics and histories they did not even know they had missed. Infographic influencers, as you might call them, have become the leaders of this exercise in DIY education, repurposing tools from marketing or human resources jobs and drawing on their own personal experiences to explain anti-racist ideas to a growing audience more concerned with substantive ideas than carefully-chosen filters.

Ty likens her approach to the work she does in her day job, food packaging design. “If someone is walking through a store, you have like 3.5 seconds to get their attention,” she says. “If you put a big paragraph, no one’s going to read it, but if you are able to break things down into shorter sentences that helps.”

Ty got into posting infographics while trying to do the “complete opposite” of posting a black square. For Ty, the black square was not functional, and design — be it that of a chocolate wrapper or a Miranda Rights explainer — must be functional. “You always have to think about the person on the other side,” she said. “That’s one of my favorite things about design. It’s art with empathy.”

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