We’re only a few weeks into 2016 and look at how much celebrity mourning has already occurred. If I was a British celebrity in my late 60’s suffering secretly from an illness, I would be very worried right now.
The way everyone has dealt with this is to share their sadness on social media.
Whenever there is a terror attack, all the world leaders are quick to inform everyone that they find the attacks ‘abhorrent’. And it’s in the same vain that everyone rushes to the Internet to say they’re unhappy about the latest death.
In both instances, it doesn’t actually need saying. No-one is assuming that the President of the United States was cheering the Paris attacks. And I wasn’t assuming you were full of glee at Bowie’s death.
That’s because we’re all decent human beings. People who haven’t shared their emotional standpoint are not, therefore, ‘abhorrent’ people.
Is Celebrity Grief Still Real Grief?
People were taking the day off work because they were so consumed with grief when David Bowie died.
It’s hard to not want to turn around and say ‘Get a grip!’
David Bowie received the same outpouring as Princess Diana and Michael Jackson. In a way, it’s certainly deserved. He had a long career where he had a personal affect on an uncountable number of people in an infinite number of ways.
BUT, these are people suffering emotional distress about someone they’ve never had a personal interaction with. They think they know him, but how could they possibly have a clue? Bowie was an incredibly private person.
Everyone has stories which they think makes their grief founded and more important than yours.
People were phoning into This Morning that morning to share their stories. An ex-girlfriend from 50 years ago. A woman who said ‘Hi’ to him when she young, over 40 years ago. And someone else who said that listening to Bowie’s music helped them through a difficult moment.
I think it distracts from the friends and family who actually knew him, and their grief. Especially when fans insist on getting included in the funeral service.
I’m grieving for the fact that their grief gets hijacked by people desperate to use the #RIP hashtag on Twitter.
This desperate need by everyone to join in with the public outpouring of grief intrigues me.
You’re allowed to feel sad, of course. I understand that Bowie’s music may have had a particular impact on your life, or that you grew up watching Alan Rickman.
But are we sad because they’ve died? Or is just because that link to a moment in your life is now impaired? Or is it because everyone else is doing it?
Humans are so vulnerable and desperate to fit in, that we adopt the behaviours of those around us, to fit in. We imitate in order to become a part of the pack. And sharing our grief on Twitter is one way of achieving it.
Or there is the other thought that we’ve all found out someone died from Facebook or Twitter. Perhaps we’re all so desperate to be the person that informs someone else of the death? The classic ‘phoning your Grandmother to hear about who’s died this week’ joke, springs to mind.
Are we all really just letting out our inner Grandma’s when we go onto the internet?
And I say all because we’ve all done it. Even I’ve done celebrity mourning on Twitter.
What a week. Massive Alan Rickman fan. I can’t think of anything he’s been in which I’ve not enjoyed… pic.twitter.com/kEprGvPLom
— Stuart Collyer (@MrStuy) January 14, 2016
But I can’t think of anyone that I don’t directly know, who I would feel immense grief for. Obviously, I’d feel sadness; I’m not some emotionless blob who goes around life fascinated by these ’emotions’ I’ve heard so much about.
Nevertheless, when someone has to take a day off work because they’re so upset about a celebrity’s passing, you have to wonder how emotionally stable they are…
Either way, when the next celebrity dies, just think whether your status update is actually worth saying.
We’re now just making constant noise online. And because of that, a lot of what we say online has no value whatsoever.
When people read what you write, you want them to take something away. Learn something new or get entertained by it. And a picture of your breakfast does none of that.
And it’s because we’re in this habit of writing every thought, cognitive or otherwise, on Twitter, that we think we HAVE TO say we’re sad about someone’s passing.
Having a unique viewpoint on the death of a celebrity is just like the possibility of actually saying something new about the same old weather.
If a thought isn’t Tweeted, did the thought really exist? Well yes, of course, it did.
Remember, you can feel emotions internally and not share them. So please don’t tell everyone you’re hungry, horny, happy, or hated. Just to let you know, from everyone, we don’t care.