Why I Won’t Change My Facebook Profile Picture

Last night, the world reeled in horror as coordinated attacks by terrorists believed to be with ISIS were successful at six locations in Paris.  It is, without a doubt, horrendous!


This morning, I awoke to many of my Facebook friends having changed their profile pictures to one with an overlay of the French flag.   And because I haven’t, I have been asked by more than a handful why it is that I haven’t followed suit.

My answer is simple:  Because as devastating as yesterday’s events were, if I was to add the French flat overlay on my profile picture, it still wouldn’t address what’s wrong with those who terrorize others.

It wouldn’t show support for the 43 people killed and over 200 people injured in Beirut in a terrorist attack believed to be by ISIS the day before the Paris tragedy.


It wouldn’t show support for the Russian charter Metrojet Airbus (it had just departed Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt) that crashed killing all 224 people aboard which is believed to have been caused by ISIS.


All these attacks happened this month, and ISIS has claimed responsibility for all these attacks.

And it wouldn’t show support for those countries whom ISIS continues to target, and those countries whom ISIS says it will be targeting.


So rather than use peer pressure in trying to force me to use the French flag overlay on my Facebook profile picture, perhaps it’s time that we took a stand and did something about what’s going on.  Instead of expressing shock and horror from a safe distance through armchair advocacy at the click of a button, make your advocacy and outrage count.

Don’t just offer digital condolences.  It’s time to do something about all these ISIS attacks.

Elyse Bruce

4 Responses to “Why I Won’t Change My Facebook Profile Picture”

  1. Brady Says:

    How do you suggest people who read this digital condolence react? For the most part people live on social media and do not posses the fortitude to get from behind their computer screens and look other humans in the eye, much less “do something about all these ISIS attacks”

    • Elyse Bruce Says:

      Welcome to my blog, Brady.

      While you refer to my article as a digital condolence, you are assuming many things that are not in evidence including what I have done beyond social media.

      Regardless of whether people “live” on social media (by the way, many do not “live” on social media but merely “visit” it), everyone has the fortitude to do something of consequence to help others.

      This includes volunteering time, effort, and/or money to registered charitable organizations that are helping victims of attacks by ISIS in France as well as in other countries where attacks by ISIS have occurred.

      This includes voting out politicians who are ineffective in the fight against ISIS and, where elections are not taking place, taking politicians to task on their promises to address the horrors and terrorism of ISIS.

      Those are just three examples of how an individual can “do something about all these ISIS attacks.”

      It’s unfortunate that you believe people who avail themselves of digital media feel they are only capable of using a flag overlay on their profile pictures to stand up against ISIS, and to show solidarity with the people in France.

      I believe that the human spirit is so much stronger than just that.

      I appreciate your comments to this blog article.

  2. Michelle Says:

    I believe you have a valid point..I don’t follow all of the national news because it’s depressing and downright scary..I don’t want to walk around on eggshells.. I would rather be a little ignorant to what is going on all around us. However we have been close with France for many many years and there were Americans killed in those attacks in France that is why I support the situation by temporarily changing my profile picture. However I also appreciate your stance as well.

    • Elyse Bruce Says:

      Hello Michelle, and thank you for commenting on this article. Just as you appreciate my stance, I have no problem with my friends and acquaintances who have chosen to go with the profile picture overlay.

      However, I would like to remind you that American hasn’t always been close with France. In fact, in 2003, the Congressional cafeterias as well as many restaurants around the U.S. (with the support of the American people) renamed french fries on their menu to freedom fries. Likewise, french toast was renamed freedom toast.

      This was because France did not support George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq which led to America accusing France of betraying the U.S.

      SOURCE: http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/03/11/sprj.irq.fries/

      Years later, in November 2012, when Mitt Romney spoke about family vacations with his wife in France, and mentioned that he looked forward to visiting France again.

      SOURCE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/mitt-romney-france-trips_n_1446328.html

      Many reporters took to admonishing Romney for his comments, most of them taking to Twitter to advise him that he should only speak disparagingly about France. In fact, here’s what Chris Cizilla tweeted (and that was retweeted in large numbers).

      Chris Cillizza on Twitter

      Additionally, the U.S. Government published a book titled “112 Grips About The French: The 1945 Handbook For American GIs in Occupied France” due to the negative opinion American soldiers held with regards to France and its population.

      All that being said, I do believe we need to pull together and support each other. But just because I haven’t used the French flag overlay doesn’t mean I am against France or its people … or people on Facebook who are using the French flag overlay on their profile picture.

      Thanks again for commenting, Michelle.

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