THE BLOG

Should We Be Doing More Than Changing Our Facebook Profile Picture?

16/11/2015 09:57 GMT | Updated 15/11/2016 10:12 GMT

Let me start by saying I'm not telling you to do anything. Nor am I calling anyone out on changing their picture. Each to their own at the end of the day. I'm not trying to offend or attack.

Like me, I'm sure you are horrified by the tragic events that unfolded in France over the weekend. I watched the terror unfold, live on television 530 miles away feeling helpless and heartbroken. Paris is a beautiful city.

As these tragic events progressed, I noticed my Facebook feed turning into a sea of French flags which was beautiful in away. People posting prayer messages, images. Some using hashtags. I get it. I stress again this post isn't about why you shouldn't do this. But I won't be doing any of that. It's not that I don't feel sad about what's happened because I do. I do give my support and think about those that have lost loved ones. It's a horrendous time for them and I can't imagine what they are going through. However I don't feel the need to change my profile picture on Facebook to show my support.

I don't feel the need to signal to my internet Facebook 'friends' that I show support to the people of France. I don't need the internet to do that. In a way, I fear that social media is cheapening our response to these tragic events and we are becoming numb to what is actually happening in our world. It's heart-breaking enough and I feel that it's worth more than changing your picture online. I do however understand that this is what some people want to do, and in no way am I saying not to do it.

I wonder if people have actually thought about what it means to change your profile picture in response to these events, to show 'support'. Why would you feel the need to do it? What do we do with that? By all means go ahead and do it. But all I'm trying to say is don't stop there. Don't use this as an opportunity for attention. For likes. Or because it looks good. Use this as an opportunity to look at the wider picture. Think about why it is your actually changing your profile picture. What it symbolises and what it means.

Paris wasn't the only place to see brutality on its streets this week. A double bombing in Beirut killed at least 43 and wounding 239. Turn on the news and refugees are drowning, crossing the Med. Car bombs in Iraq. The other week 55 people lost their lives in a tragic nightclub fire. There is violence and sadness every day, all over the world against innocent people of different races, genders, backgrounds, sexuality's and of all ages, who are going about their daily lives.

Once again there is nothing wrong with showing your support online. For some they may see it as supportive. But for me, this isn't about a quick social media response that will be forgotten about next week. Should we not be getting out there and proactively trying to make a positive change? Please don't just change your picture because it's the latest internet trend. Solidarity isn't about changing your profile picture. It's too easy to do that. It's about changing your attitude and uniting with everyone. It's deeply screwed up and scary to think that if I changed my profile picture every time there is lives lost at the hands of extremism, I would be changing it every day.

This blog is my own opinion and not intended to offend. Only to get people to think about things offline.