COPING with the death of a loved one can be difficult. Coping with the death of a celebrity that you never met, never had any contact with and only had a passing knowledge of, can be even tougher.
With your social media followers hanging every word you say, type, tweet or post, it’s important to learn the 5 stages of grief that accompany every celebrity death, and work them to your advantage when fighting for your share of the social media spoils. Let’s begin…
When you first notice a celebrity name trending, you will probably think to yourself ‘oh, they must have a new album/movie/sex tape out’… this will give way immediately to a wave of shock when you realise that no, they’re dead. And not only are they dead, they’re trending; that means thousands of people have tweeted or posted about their death, before you have even had a chance to react. You’re late, already! This will bring you to the next phase…
Now we move onto the denial stage, where you begin to doubt the validity of the death. Hoaxes spring up all the time, right? Is it possible that this celebrity is still alive, and everyone tweeting condolences are just going to look like real arseholes now? Could your online rep have been saved by not tweeting anything? Sadly, this is usually not the case.
They’re dead. RIP. May the road rise to meet them, and so on. Now isn’t the time to dwell on it. Now is the time to get your rest in peace message out there, post videos of songs that you loved or clips from movies you vaguely remember, maybe even crack a bad taste joke or two (gauge the water online first). Just do something, okay? This is an important moment in this celebrity’s death cycle, and by law you cannot have a social media account and just say nothing.
It’s about now that your opinion of the dead celebrity will clash with that of some stranger online that you have never and will never meet. Here, you must remain steadfast in you decision to support/denounce the dead celebrity, and engage in a war of words with anyone that dares to contradict you. Conversely, you can have a go at people over a recently-dead celebrity that you really liked, but feel compelled to have a contrarian opinion of because you’re not getting any traction with just another ‘RIP, gone too soon’ post. Hey, did you know David Bowie used to sleep with underage groupies all the time?
The good thing about celebrities is that there’s loads of them, and they die all the time. So your social media feed output will never be without a hashtag R-eye-pea or two… but you have to go trawling for them. Never let your phone out of your hand! You still haven’t gotten over the fact that everyone had beaten you to all the good Michael Jackson jokes after he died. You gotta stay more alert!