My thoughts are with the families of the victims, and all citizens of Paris.
The tragedy happened a few days ago, and as european-grown expat in the USA, I sure took my time to think about this. Paris is just as "home" to me like Trier, Fuerth, Dublin, or any other city in Europe. Europe is where my roots are, and if it would be possible, I'd have a passport of "Europe", and not only Germany.
Social Media sure changed the way news spread. I am thankful for the "I am Safe" feature on Facebook. Having extended family in Paris using this feature during the attacks, I could go to bed that night, knowing they are safe and home.
Nonetheless: I am one of the approx. 10 people who did not change the Facebook profile picture to show support. I have a few reasons.
There is too much going on in this world, and just showing my support for one cause doesn't feel right to me. And frankly - what does the french flag on my face do good for Paris? Nothing. I show support for all the victims worldwide. Not only in France. My profile picture would be pretty busy with all those flags on my face...
Don't get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with changing your profile picture! Some people have their reasons to change it, but it's just a quick click. Don't just jump the bandwagon (-> this might be the wrong word right now, but you get what I mean...)
For me - I'd rather slow down, feel this tragedy, and walk in kindness more fully.
Have you seen all these hateful comments - from people with their photos in red, white, and blue? People like them ruin the whole concept. Changing your Facebook profile picture doesn't make you a better person. For some people changing their picture might be meaningful - to them. I’m not even saying don’t do it. The point is to be mindful of WHY you’re doing it.
Please let those millions of lives lost in conflict be worth more than a quick photo change, or an easy hashtagged prayer.