It is true that changing your profile pic on Facebook or twitter or anywhere else to show the French flag really changes nothing. Neither does changing your cover photo to #NousSommesUnis.
Neither does visiting the sites of the attacks and laying down flowers or lighting a candle. You see, it's the same thing. We aren't in Paris. Most of us don't have a French embassy around the corner where we can go to pay our respects.
What we CAN do though is share our stunned grief right here, on #Facebook, where we come to chat and play and have a good time. Yes, we'll take those flags and peace signs and words down again. Probably soon, too. Because the world is harsh. Because life must go on, no matter what. It does go on, and so must we.
But for a moment, for a few days, while we had that French flag on our profile images, we put our own lives on hold to share the grief, to try and give comfort, and to understand that whatever is going on in our little world–there is always worse. Always.