Notre Dame tragedy: A self branding opportunity?


The world came to a stand still on Monday when one of the world’s most famous churches, the Notre Dame Cathedral, abruptly turned into ash, lighting the Parisian skies with smoke and despair. 

Being one of the most discussed news events in the last 24 hours, I can’t help but question the motives of social medial users, and their stand on this tragedy.  

Many people took to Twitter and Instagram, sharing their personal photos and experiences with the world famous cathedral. Maybe some believe this was a form of grief, unifying communities across the globe. I believe it’s nothing more than a disrespectful excuse for social climbing and attention seeking individuals to make the tragedy about themselves and their “life changing” holiday to Europe. 

Built in the 12th century, Notre Dame Cathedral was one of the most acclaimed churches across the globe. Roughly 13 million people visit the cathedral each year, with an overall average of 30,000 people attending the church each day, as one of the most sacred tourist destinations in Paris.  

Many have captured their devastation and disbelief through the subtle art of posting “selfies”. Trying to relate to this tragedy, social media users have not quite grasped how transparent they appear in their attempt to grieve. Most posts could be interpreted as disrespectful manipulation, by making this recent horror about themselves.  

Throughout the years, many people have identified social media as a seed of hope, a community where people from all around the world can join together to mourn after such a dire event. But thanks to these superficial “like-hungry” fiends, this virtual community is slowly disintegrating from what it once was, into a bragging contest. 



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