Social Media

The Social Media Grief Police

This is a personal rant and no way reflects the opinions of Mark Zuckerburg.

Whenever there is a celebrity death or national tragedy the internet lights up with people wanting to share their emotions about the event.  Your timeline may be filled with RIPs, SIPs, black and white photos of the deceased, inspirational quotes, Facebook pastors looking to take the opportunity to push their beliefs on you (that’s a whole notha post) etc.

People handle loss in different ways. But where there are mourners also adjacent are the social media grief police. These are your social media friends who stand on their high horses to tell the public how they should be grieving in this very public time of mourning.

For a recent example, Kobe Bryant, his daughter and 7 others including the pilot were killed on Sunday, January 26, 2020 in a tragic helicopter accident. TMZ broke the news first with very little details. All the public knew at that time was that Kobe Bryant had passed. Dassit.  After that, social media timelines were filled with condolences, shock, people begging for confirmation,  people saying it was “Fake News”. Information about who was in the helicopter with him changed every hour. The number went from 5 people to 9 people. All Kobe’s children to one child. Someone even threw in Rick Fox for good measure (Thankfully he is okay). My point is information was rapidly changing as it tends to do during times like these.

Then I see posts of people who keep saying other people died too you know not just Kobe??!! I even saw someone telling people to update their Kobe posts to reflect the other souls that perished on the flight. I have a strong word for those people. STOP TELLING PEOPLE HOW TO GRIEVE FAMOUS PEOPLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. That’s why we have our own pages to post on. You are not better than anyone else because you want to include everyone who died than the ones who just mention Kobe on their page as their sports idol. No one is better than anyone in grief. This is not the grief Olympics. I’m glad you’re proud of yourself for being inclusive. Now gwan go siddown somewhere.

Some people posted and left social media for the rest of the day, Some people stayed glued to their phones the entire day. Some people are just waking up to the news cause they were unplugged the entire weekend.

STORYTIME: A good friend and I were traveling to Florida from Las Vegas and guess who was on my plane? Don King! We even took a picture with him and I harassed Don King about why he wasn’t carrying a Jamaican flag. He told me he left it at home. RUDE and OUTTA ORDAH! Gwan back home an go get it Don, I’ll hold your seat.

As we boarded the plane I told my friend if an incident happens this is going to be known as the Don King incident and forget about us. You know why? Don “Mad Summady” King was the most famous person onboard! And we knew that and laughed and it was okay.  Sometimes non-famous people die with celebrities and yes the news and the world will mourn the famous person more because that is who they are familiar with. But that does not diminish the love and devotion that the non-famous people have from their family, friends, and their communities. It’s an all-around tragedy.

If you want to go into Photoshop and put ill-proportioned angel wings on Kobe unfortunately no one can stop you. I personally don’t like that aesthetic and my family has strict instructions not to do that to me when I transition because me’ll tun duppy pon dem with a quickness and haunt their lives FOREVER…

For some of you, you may not even post online about Kobe’s passing, you may be having conversations with your loved ones instead. Some people said, “Wow that’s crazy!” and kept living their lives.  Some people brought up Kobe’s sexual assault accusations cause guess what? That is part of his legacy too and his sudden passing may have triggered their own experiences. All in all, There’s no wrong way to do this. Let people grieve or not grieve the way they want to PLEASE. 

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