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The Stages of Social Media Grief of Celebrity Deaths

Update (4/22/16): I renamed this post, from “The Stages of Twitter Grief of Celebrity Deaths” to “The Stages of Social Media Grief of Celebrity Deaths” because this cycle of events happens across platforms.

I’d like to start this off by saying “Rest in Peace” to legendary soul singer, Teena Marie, who passed yesterday, apparently in her sleep. It seems we’re losing our icons all the time now. Who’s gonna replace them? Well that’s another topic for another day.

But not only did Teena’s death remind me of the fragility of life, but it also alerted me to something I hadn’t fully thought through before. Like any seemingly major news nowadays, Teena’s death broke on Twitter, in 140 characters. And what ensued after news of her death was announced was one of the messiest, most confusing hours I’ve ever spent on that microblogging network we know as “the Twittah.”

This led me to analyze the process of grieving on Twitter when celebrities die. It’s the same cycle each time, and it’s highly dramatic every single time. For hours straight, my timeline proceeds to explode in theatrics and hysterics. It never fails. So walk with me as I explore this process of Twitter grief, using Teena Marie’s death as an example of what goes down.

The Stages of Twitter Grief

The 5 Stages of Twitter Grief: RUMOR of celebrity death —> DEBATES bout validity of sources —> CONFIRMATION from major news source —> GRIEF  —> ARGUMENTS bout how folks grieve

Stage 1: Rumor of celebrity death

This begins when ONE individual tweet mentions a celebrity has died. Then that one tweet gets legs and is retweeted (RTed) by a bunch of people. Usually, people are super skeptical about it, because WEEKLY, there’s a different celebrity death rumor, and most don’t pan out to be true. In fact, according to Twitter, Bill Cosby has died no less than 8 times this year. And they kill off Morgan Freeman every couple of months like clockwork.

In fact, last week, some ridiculous dude who thought he was being funny did a FAKE retweet from CNN saying that Morgan Freeman had died in his home. The tweet got RTed so much that CNN had to tweet that it did NOT say Morgan Freeman had passed. It was such a mess.

The rumor stage is where some people choose to either completely ignore the conversation, while others actively question it. This is the stage that is usually the least dramatic. It’s just full of a lot of side-eyes being thrown back and forth between everyone. I like to call this the “We don’t believe you. You need more people” stage.

This stage is aggravating though because one doesn’t know what to believe. I don’t understand the pleasure behind killing people off before their time. I don’t see the funny in it.

Stage 2: Debates and arguments about validity of source

This is the stage that begins the process of any celebrity news break source. As the news is still being considered a rumor, what happens is everyone starts to argue about how valid the source that broke the story is. Whoever the original tweet started from is given extreme side-eyes (O___o) if it isn’t a major outlet like CNN or BBC. However, what’s interesting is that neither of these outlets is the first to ever report breaking news on celebrities. EVER.

Why? Because they do journalism the traditional way. They sit and verify sources and make sure that the info is correct because they have a lot to lose if it isn’t. This is GREAT, of course, because it ensures their accuracy. But what it means in 2010 terms, and the superfast information highway we’re all a part of is that they are seldom FIRST to tell us news. Therefore, looking to them to confirm news before reacting means there’ll be a delay.

This was me when TMZ confirmed MJ’s death.

CNN took 1.5 hours AFTER TMZ broke it to confirm Michael Jackson’s death. When Michael Jackson died, TMZ broke the news first with a quick post on their site. THIS is when I did a *chair slide* while at work on “OMG the King of Pop is REALLY dead.” A lot of people didn’t believe this for at least another hour because they said it was TMZ. TMZ may not know much about history. Or biology. Or science books. But what they DO know is their celebrity news. And they got a mole in every department of Los Angeles’ anything. They knew MJ died before even his family knew. Why? They pay people IN LA institutions for info.

Some people cite Wikipedia as their source of information, and they get side-eyed because we all know Wikipedia is user-driven, and can be editted by anyone. Then some folks say they’re waiting for TMZ to say it, since they’re the CNN of celebrity news.

But what was interesting with Teena Marie’s death is that the point of initial confirmation of her death was by Ron Isley, who tweeted…

Ron Isley Tweet on Teena Marie's death

THIS is what started it all. And the response to Ron’s tweet from people was half belief and half skepticism. The people on Twitter started arguing back and forth about whether they believed this. I mostly believed him because he’s a part of her inner circle. Ron and Teena are known to be friends, so for him to tweet this, I was doubtful it was still in “rumor” stage. However, half of Twitter were of the “I’ll wait til CNN says something” variety.

It’s like getting a text message from your cousin’s best friend saying that they gave birth, and you saying “I’ma wait for it to be on Facebook before I congratulate her.” Sure Facebook makes it REALLY REALLY official, but at least consider that text message.

But that short dude is one of her goodest friends though… Although if he was wrong, I SWEAFOGAWD I was gon burn up ALL his perm kits in effigy

Plus, although TMZ, CNN and all those give celebrity news, let’s be honest. They give BREAKING celebrity news on those who are on their radar. And most of them aren’t Black celebs. Teena Marie called herself a “Black Artist in white skin” and she was right. TMZ wasn’t gonna be checking for her THAT tough. TMZ got a tracking chip in most celebs but apart from MJ, they’re rarely the one to break Black celeb news. And Teena #minuswell be Black. TMZ will have something on Britney Spears if she gets a papercut but Teena wasn’t on their “let me check for her” list.

But yes, the debate often goes on for hours, until an “official” news source repeats what the person tweeted 2 hours before.

Stage 2.5: Argument about conflicting sources

When a rumor of the death is out, and we’re arguing about the validity of the source, someone else usually comes along to let folks know that it is INDEED a rumor and that the celebrity is actually fine and dandy, eating gummi worms at home AS WE SPEAK!

Yesterday, Teena Marie’s death had at least 3 “celebrities” who denied it, saying they had insider info that let them know she’s ok.

Oh Ascoted one… What about TODAY? Talking to her yesterday ain’t what we talmbout!

Roland, Miss Info, Kym Whitley and Lisa Raye all tweeted talmbout Teena Marie was fine. This is when everyone who had believed Ron Isley started questioning like “Hmm…” But even then… Mr. Biggs KNEW Teena. These other randoms, on the other hand… I ain’t e’em gon talk bout all the shade Twitter threw at them. LOLLL

Stage 2.75: Retraction of Denial of Death by Conflicting Sources

This is when those random individuals who thought they were privy to insider info ensuring well-being of said celeb realize they were wrong. Yesterday, within that hour of Roland an’ em saying Teena Marie was fine, there were retractions from all of them saying they were wrong. And that she had indeed passed.

They left me in a glass case of gullibility and emotions. I was SPENT! But my *wall slide* was already on standby. I had already bust one out but I still needed to slide down the rest of the 3 walls of the room.

Stage 2.9: Bargaining

What usually happens here is pretty uncouth in my book. It’s when people  are close to accepting the celeb’s death, and then proceed to bargain with the Lord for 3 lesser artists. I don’t think it’s right to wish death on others.

Stage 3: Confirmation of celebrity death by major news source

This is when CNN FINALLY picks up the death of the celebrity, and they tweet it as breaking news, although the rest of us found out 2 hours before. This is also when the final skeptics realize that they can indeed tweet “RIP.”

What’s interesting is that oftentimes, the major news outlet cites the source that originally broke the news on Twitter, or another tweet confirming the death. Huffington Post wrote their article breaking Teena’s death and based the whole story on Rolands’ tweet. Yes, we’re back in full circle.

Anywho, following this confirmation is usually when Twitter goes in full fledge mourning mode. What does this look like? Wells…

Stage 4: Grieving and mourning of said celeb

For hours on end, Twitter ends up mourning for the celebrity that has passed on. Now, here is also where Twitter splits in half. There are TWO types of ways people tweet during this time.

There are the folks who are actively paying homage to the celeb. Whole timelines are full of tweets remembering the celeb, tweeting links to their work, music, films, quotes… everything. We truly PAY HOMAGE to their lives. Here is also where some folks go above and beyond to prove that they were indeed stans of this celebrity. Sometimes, people try to outstan each other, and it becomes a competition of sorts. And yes, it can get pretty ridiculous at times.

Stage 5: Argument About How Folks Grieve

Folks throw themselves on celebs’ eCaskets, talmbout “WHY LAWDT?!?” I’m usually of this group. It’s just when you’re airing out disbelief at how young/healthy/virile the celeb was. And them being gone is so sudden and final. This is natural. Let folks have their times to lament in peace.

But there are people on Twitter who make sure to piss on everyone’s mourning parade. The ones who go “If you ain’t checked for that celebrity since May, don’t say RIP.” EVERY. SINGLE. TIME, there’s someone who makes sure to let folks know that even though they aren’t that celeb’s fan, they should hold their condolences.

Word. Life.

Umm… there IS such a thing as common courtesy. Let folks pay respect and shut the hell up. Just because one isn’t that celeb’s biggest fan does not mean their death won’t have SOME effect. Any human life lost should be able to be acknowledged without judging ass people having to say something bout it.

And we musn’t forget the people who tweet talmbout “I’m not sure why y’all are making such a big deal about it. People die everyday. Besides, why is this celebrity’s life worth more than anybody else’s. Betchu ain’t mourn your cousin like this.”

Yes, this happens.

Anywho, this argument usually takes up AT LEAST another hour of the time on Twitter. It’s just a really time-consuming process.

Yesterday, and any other day when a celebrity dies and we deal with it on Twitter murks me softly. We’ve done this process with every celebrity death, especially Black ones. Michael Jackson, Gary Coleman, Teddy Pendergrass, Lena Horne. And the cycle repeats itself each time. I admit to being part of the problem. I’ma try to fix the part I play in all this. I’m usually the one *wall sliding* 1st. But yes…

And furthermore, on the death of Teena Marie and how it was handled on Twitter. Lemme say this… *deep sigh*.

iBlame the public schools. And Soulja Boy.

These damb simpletons really spent ALL night misconstruing Teena Marie’s legendary self with the irrelevant and wack Tnvjbnfhefeeoo Mari. Why must I cry??? Besides, Tagf;rjrglheh Mari was safe in her home. Y’all don’t need to kill her off just cuz her music needs to be buried. Don’t wish her that evil.

Then, people STAYED misspelling her name. Even celebs who claimed to be her friend. Heck, Mr. Biggs first called her Tina Marie. Then my beloved Mary J. Blige, who I still love in spite of herself and her grammatically-incorrect tweets…

Gurl…I know Teena Marie. And I’ve heard of Tjbfhvlsnf;j Mari and her raggelly attempts at music. But praytell, WHO is Tina Mari?

When I’m old and gray and it’s my time to follow the drinking gourd to the Lawd, if y’all don’t spell my name right, I’ma burn ALL your rice up. If you’ont gimme the common courtesy of learning to spell my name correctly, I’m haunting ALL your spell checks. Yes. It’s like that.

But what I AM gon need everyone to do is learn how to spell TEENA MARIE. That’s what I’ma NEED up out y’all.

Teena Marie’s voice was too soulful to have her name thrown back in her face misspelled like this. #PAYHOMAGE. Oh and I don’t even have the energy to address this…

This is why we can’t have nice things.

I. DON’T. HAVE. TIME.

Stage 5.5: Inappropriate jokes about death

This is when people do the most with the utter least and start making jokes about death or the deceased. They’re usually in completely bad taste and here’s the point where the underbelly of Twitter makes you realize why some people can’t have nice things. The only good thing that happens during tragedy on Twitter is that you learn who you need to unfollow to purge your timeline. UGH!

I’m tah’d. This post was epic. Would love to hear what you think.


 

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106 Comments

  1. December 27, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Excellent post. I do feel like I need to hunt this Candydeepthroat person down and punch her in the face about a million times.

    • December 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm

      She’s clearly a degenerate.

    • keisha brown
      December 27, 2010 at 5:31 pm

      can i be punch 1 milli +1??
      e__O

      • December 28, 2010 at 2:53 am

        Stand in line! lol

      • NY2VA
        December 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm

        KB, I will hold her as you get your hits in… you know, school yard style.

  2. December 27, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Charts and flow diagrams make everything mo’ official. I feel learned.

    I can’t wait until they start studying Twitter behavior in sociology and anthropology classes in universities. Luvvie, you most definitely will have to be a professor in Twitter.

    • December 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm

      Yes!!! Charts make everything super real. I love charts.

      And I’d love to teach bout Twitter. I’d rock a baby blue cape and errthang.

  3. LMAO
    December 27, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Luvvie,
    I ain’t gon be able to do you today!
    I’m over here LMAO so much @ this post that I’m…HOWLING and SNORTING!!!
    Oh..M..Geez

    • December 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm

      I was on GOOD behavior too. lol

  4. December 27, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Very much on point. If I had anything to add, it would be the stage between 4 and 5 that I like to call “changing of the profile/avatar guard”. Your eLife or eDeath mean jack schit until someone makes your picture their avatar. Matter fact some of the folk criticizing other’s grief yesterday were people mad about other people’s avatar.

    OH, and you gotta also include the group-rate obituaries. When one celeb dies they start rolling out the “it comes in three’s” and adding random folk to the death count. After Sheila E said Teena was still alive, there were folks on Facebook saying Sheila was dead. Jeebus Take the Keyboard.

    • December 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      You are SO RIGHT!!! Those are some steps indeed. MJ died and EVERYONE changed their profile pic. I couldn’t e’em tell who was tweeting for a whole day. lol

  5. Embraceurcrazy
    December 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    This is a great synopsis of the foolishness that occurred yesterday. Thank you for the classy way you approached this subject, without naming additional names. RIP – Teena Marie.

    • December 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      *curtsies*

  6. December 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    God forbid, if you pass, I’ma just say RIP Luvvie. Th other 12 syllables in that name might get mangled.

    • December 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm

      LOL that is ALL I ask is you spell the Luvvie right.

      • Ashley
        December 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm

        to be honest, if you passed I’d either come here or go to your account on Twitter and copy and paste your name into my tweet and I’m SO serious

        • December 28, 2010 at 2:58 am

          LOL well at least you’ll do that to make sure you’re correct. Thank you.

  7. B. Sanders
    December 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Luvvie Boo:

    You don’ outdid yo’ self gurl! Please submit this to Fast Company for their Infographic of The Day article. Oh, yeah…they wouldn’t understand. Gotcha.

    Job well done. R.I.P. Lady T…

    • December 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks, Barb!!! 😀

  8. XoDLC
    December 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Yes, yes, yes!This is exactly how it happens every.single.time!

    I happen to be a big fan of Teena Marie and if someone wasn’t it’s ok, but yeah I can’t tolerate death jokes/shade etc no matter how irrelevant people think they are.Like the Teairra Mari joke.It was really classless and I can’t believe some people would think that was funny.

    And the people who be like “Oh you wasn’t thinking of her yesterday” or “You wasn’t a big fan cause you only knew one song” kills me.Some people just have to go over and beyond.

    RIP Teena Marie

  9. December 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    All Imma say is Twitter was way out of order last night. Tacky. Just tacky. And this candythroatchopwhoever is just… Some people just take the antics too far.

    • December 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm

      Twitter DID do the most w/ the least last night. No doubt bout that.

  10. December 27, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    To those folks these folks:

    “And we musn’t forget the people who tweet talmbout “I’m not sure why y’all are making such a big deal about it. People die everyday. Besides, why is this celebrity’s life worth more than anybody else’s. Betchu ain’t mourn your cousin like this.””

    I’d like to tell them, if you told me your mama died I’d be sad and I don’t know you or dat ho! Too harsh? oh. -_-

    • December 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm

      Girl…

  11. December 27, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    This is so accurate and on point that it’s scary. I definitely watched ALL of this go down on my timeline last night, and I was definitely a part of the crowd that waited until CNN said something before I believed it…mainly because as you said, they take their time and do their research on things before putting them out there…it’s sort of amazing to see how every time a celebrity passes on, Twitter has the exact. same. reaction. #shrug Hopefully one day we’ll do better (though I don’t wish death on anyone)…

    • December 27, 2010 at 2:48 pm

      One day, we shall overcome ourselves.

  12. December 27, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Good read. Truth be told, I didn’t believe it. Too many “celebrities” got ghost twtiiterers, too young to even recognize anyone who put a song out on an 8 track, so… Being a journalist, it’ll take a loooong time before we give up our traditional way of verifying info. God forbid, George Bush get on Twitter saying another country has weapons of mass destruction, I’m gonna need FULL proof. Like I need God to say, hey I stopped by Teena’s crib today. We going for a ride. I do appreciate that Roland reached out to all of her camp to verify. And I sympathize with Kym Whitley…I mean I have had a very good friend of mine die and I refused to receive the info, cause I had JUSt talked to him. Si I needed to know WHO SAW the body before I was buying it. But I don’t know if I’m a good case study. Hell, I’m just being my overly critical, analytical virgo self.

    Oh Wait! Your video clip of Chris Breezy is ha-larious!

    • December 27, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      Well I understand the value of the old way of verifying info. But the difference between now and then is that individuals now have an outlet to pass on info. Twitter is that outlet. It’s like Paul Revere telling us the British were coming because he saw troops and folks saying they’ll wait til Ben Franklin’s newsletter tells them. We can’t always say that on the ground info is inaccurate. But I understand wait and see as a reaction. It makes sure you don’t seem foolish if everyone is wrong.

      • write1
        December 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm

        Not necessarily a wait and see reaction, more assertive fact checking…If Paul Revere told us he SAW the British and that they were crossing the River yonder behind Od Man Wright’s barn at high noon, that is quite different than me hearing in third person that Revere saw it and some plain tweet: The British are coming. Heck, Ben Franklin can send out his newsletter and it have mis-information and no attributions, too. I’d question it as well. Ron Isley simply tweeting he is sorry to say Teena Marie is dead w/no context, hopefully everyone would want to gather a FEW facts. Roland tweeted, but he put things into context, all played out online. I am a strong advocate for social networks, using them as news sources and as activist tools. What I don’t do is believe that all theses “celebrities” are tweeting for themselves or that all of these accounts are real. So if Ron Isley said he spoke with Teena Marie’s daughter, or that he just left Teena Marie’s house and they were taking the body to the LA county coroner, I might’ve believed him, still AFTER verifying he had a verified account. But again, I just need to be sure I don’t pass along ish that can totally f up someone’s life…or death.

        • Brittany
          December 27, 2010 at 10:28 pm

          I don’t think it was without context…

          Ron first tweeted:

          “Just found out a friend, Tina Marie passed away. I really did’t expect to hear this. RIP. We will miss you much!”

          He then confirmed it after I guess Twitter speculation and shade in his @replies that, “Yes, Teena Marie” had died.

          Again, it’s about what Luvvie said. For me, there wasn’t much speculation after I saw his tweet. I knew they were friends and didn’t think that something like that would just be so recklessly tweeted by someone with a personal relationship to her. All the back and forth came with her being celebrity and there being protocol, confirmation needed within her camp on how to handle media, etc. He was tweeting as a friend, not someone trying to break a story. At the end of the day, the same person he may have talked to is the same person CNN, etc may have talked to in order to get the confirmation that folks needed.

          • December 28, 2010 at 2:49 am

            I couldn’t have said it better myself, Brittany! All I’m saying is that I understand the journalistic integrity thing but when a personal friend TELLS us in that manner. I’m prone to believing.

  13. Drea823
    December 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Excellent, funny and very true post! The residents of Twitter are always doing the MOST no matter what the situation..smh.

    • December 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm

      Twitter is Doing The Most Ville.

  14. Dee Dee
    December 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Luvvs this post was in fact stellar and on point. LAWDT my Teena, I can’t believe people murked her name and her legacy the way they did but it is the Twittah. Antyways, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Props!

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:43 am

      Thanks, Deeds!

  15. December 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Yes, so much YES to this post. People kill me acting like folks can’t say “rest in peace” on twitter when a person dies without all the “YOU WEREN’T A REAL FAN / YOU WEREN’T TALMBOUT HER MUSIC YESTERDAY / WHY YOU WAIT TIL SHE DIE TO SHOW LOVE / BLAH BLAH BLAH.”

    WHO DOES THAT?

    Who goes through their entire arsenal of music or movies or TV each & every day to show how much they love every celebrity all just in case one should die tomorrow? WHO THE FUGG does that? Go SIT DOWN and let people pay respect. I hate that isht with SO much vigor.

    [Even tho I was O_o-ing a whole bunch of media people who got all somber and dramatic over MJ’s death when they were calling him ‘Wako Jako’ the week before. Yup, I shol’ did.] #doublestandard

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:12 am

      Yeah that whole “why are you sad when you didn’t care about the celeb when they were alive” thing is aggravating because folks are known to take celebs for granted. Then when they pass, our sense of loss is real because we realize who/what we had and took for granted. So when people use this as a reason to judge folks for grieving, which is a normal process? I just get annoyed.

  16. Kay
    December 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Twitter is the devil….I rebuke that bullshit..

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:09 am

      Twitter can be awesome but it can also be the devil’s playground. No doubt about it.

  17. December 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Well done!

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:05 am

      Thanksies! 😀

  18. Solovely2020
    December 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I absolutely loved EVERYTHING about this post!

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:04 am

      Thanks!

  19. Constance
    December 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I am in the group of people that don’t understand why others get all sad over someone’s death. Like when MJ died. People were all upset like 1: They knew him personally. And 2: They were bumping the s*** out of his music on a regular basis.

    But I’m also not one to be fazed by celebrities in general. I don’t have to stay abreast of the latest celebrity gossip and I don’t go crazy if I see one. I guess since I don’t know them, I could care less. I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s sad and this time especially since I was just listening to my Fire and Desire radio station on Pandora (which is jamming btw). But I don’t care to know or research what the celebs are getting themselves into. But if you start talking bout coworker Tina, now that is a conversation that I’m interested in.

    But no shade to those of you that are and do get affected. I just don’t get it.

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:04 am

      Well here’s the thing about MJ’s death. He was one of those celebrities that people illogically thought would live forever and took for granted. When he died, it shocked us all. I have to say I was super sad when he died. I felt like a distant cousin died. Saying cuz folks ain’t bump his music on a regular basis, they can’t mourn him is dismissing the effect his music had on a lotta folks’ childhood.

      You may not get it but some folks are genuinely affected by the deaths of their fave celebs.

  20. December 27, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Best article EVER. I can’t disagree with any of it 🙂

    • December 28, 2010 at 2:58 am

      Thank ya kindly!

  21. Constance
    December 27, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Oh and let me clarify by saying I don’t side eye the people that just do a simple “rest in peace” and link a few vids. But I completely “look at my eyes, roll ’em” at the people that are all, “It’s a month later and I still can’t stop crying. I still can’t believe they’re dead.” Like really? You been distraught for an extended period of time? That is ridiculous to me.

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:02 am

      Yeah, those people do too much too. You crying a month after a celeb died. REALLY??? Unless he’s MJ, I be like O___o. One of my twtter followers even takes THAT to the extreme. She REALLY tweets bout how depressed she still is in a major way. Talmbout how she pulled out one of her piercings while she was in mourning. Girl…

  22. NolaGyrlChi
    December 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I agree with Constance. Hell,I was surprised at myself for actually almost crying when MJ died.

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:08 am

      I shed some involuntary tears myself when MJ died.

  23. Ashley
    December 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    too funny yet so real

    *dead* at “I’m haunting ALL your spell checks” {{I will do the same}}

    LOVED your chart

    I usually tweet the “RIP” to the celeb once I’ve gone on another credible site and learned of their death but I will say I’m going damn out my mind when Ludacris dies b/c I LOVES that man, Gawd knows I do lol

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:00 am

      Girl don’t get me started on celebs that’ll make me just fall CLEAN out when they pass. Don’t e’em get me started.

  24. December 27, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Super interesting analogy, Luv. As much as I love Twitter, I am always away from it when a celeb death hits. I’m a private mourner myself. Except when M.J. died. In which case, I tweeted every other thought that came to my head. But I am glad to know that I miss the foolishness that came with her death. My nerves just can’t be takin’ stuff like that. I didn’t even know she passed this morning until I heard it on the radio on the way to work.

    • December 28, 2010 at 2:59 am

      Sometimes, it is best to stay off Twitter. But the sense of community that sometimes does come out of the mourning of a celeb is a good thing. But other times…

  25. Ekene
    December 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Hilariousness all the way! I cried laughing at the name misspelled part. I need to send out a memo to all my friends because I’d be damned if they do that to me. What kind of system do we live in these days…one with spell check, and google, that’s what. Smh

    • December 28, 2010 at 2:57 am

      YES! Send your friends emails and tell them to memorize the spelling of your name cuz… NO MA’AM!

  26. December 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    People dying on twitter gets talked about for approximately 24 hours. If you’re still tweeting about it after that, it’s because you lost your cell phone, your laptop was down or you needed to pay your internet bill. It’s quite sad actually how short the grieving process is in cyber world. It’s also sad how some people just roll with whatever someone says on twitter to the utter disbelief to the point of actually asking the deceased to respond. That right there is some pure craziness. This would be the rare time I suggest people to actually turn the tv on and watch it for more reliable info.

    • December 28, 2010 at 2:57 am

      The TV wasn’t offering the info on Teena Marie. Like I said, major outlets weren’t checking for her. But yes, the amount of foolishness around the news breaking was epically tragic. Womp.

  27. December 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Great writeup. Yeah, I’mma need an ENTIRE post on folks like Lil Debbie Leprechaun and folks like him talmbout “where were ya’ll when celeb X was alive?!” NICCA, SIT DOWN. If you’re sitting, stand up THEN sit down. As if we have to talk about the celeb, listen to their music, watch their movies, read their books, look at the TV shows 24/7 and simultaneously in order to be “eligible” to mourn their death.

    GTFOHWTBS.

    • December 28, 2010 at 2:56 am

      If Lil Duval’s short ass stands up, we won’t be able to tell anyway. But he does need to sat the f*ck down with his degenerate ass. I know THAT murch! HMPH! Hate him!

  28. December 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    See. See. This is why Im glad that I wasent even on Twitter yesterday. I missed all the madness smdh

    • December 28, 2010 at 2:52 am

      You surely missed a lot. It was a mess.

  29. December 27, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    girl i cant…

    its really beyond me how quickly things got ugly and ridiculous at times yesterday…

    RIP Lady T.

    • December 28, 2010 at 2:52 am

      Twas a mess indeed.

  30. Nono
    December 27, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    This was the first time I’d been on Twitter when a celebrity passed and it was so damned MESSY (and hysterical). A fantastic, accurate post Luvvie!! And I promise to spell your name right and wall slide in your honor when you depart this world!

    *waiting with bated breath for your Lil Duval post cause I ain’t know who the fugg he was til last night*

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:06 am

      Oh so you were a newbie to the Twitter grief process. Chile, prep yourself for the next time a celeb dies. It’ll happen all over again.

  31. December 28, 2010 at 12:15 am

    1) Why would people doubt Mr. Biggs? He ain’t messy with sh*t but taxes

    2) Forgive me for being extreme, but Twitter needs to consider temporarily suspending accounts for fake RTs or something. Lawd knows I love @FoxxFiles messy azz, but he is the WORST for this. He’s always tweeting something like:

    RT @RayJ Black men RT @KimKardashian – what’s my biggest weakness?

    People RT’d it 50’leven times, because the Kim K tweet was real, but Ray J’s was fake, and then there was a debate that Ray J deleted the tweet. Nope, Foxx made it up.

    I just hate that messy isht

    • December 28, 2010 at 2:51 am

      “He ain’t messy with sh*t but taxes”

      LMAOOOO!!! Ok THIS just made me cackle! LOL

      And I agree that accounts that do fake RTs needs to be marked as spam. They do too murch. They really do and I think it’s irresponsible and ridiculous.

  32. Scorpiana
    December 28, 2010 at 1:34 am

    well just damb! (typo on purpose)

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:07 am

      lol I say “damb” so I didn’t e’em see it as a typo.

  33. 8th Wonder
    December 28, 2010 at 2:53 am

    You just gon sneak some Sam Cooke lyrics in yo’ post? Kudos!

    I am not on twitter, but I hear enough foolishness about it to last me a lifetime. I read another blog about Lil Duval’s tweet yesterday, and I cannot WAIT to read yours. How that dude is even tall enough to reach for a keyboard to type on is beyond me.

    And I will always spell your name right, loovveh.

    🙂

    • December 28, 2010 at 3:08 am

      You are the first person to notice the lil Sam Cooke I slipped in here. This is why I fux w/ u longtime, Aifest. THIS is why!

      And iRebuke “Looveh.” iREBUKE IT!

  34. Monique
    December 28, 2010 at 4:21 am

    I had this same train of thought watching rather reading first the dumped of Teena Marie’s death then eventually verification. Great post

    • December 28, 2010 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks, Monique!

  35. Monique
    December 28, 2010 at 4:41 am

    That would be *rumor* not dumped (dang touch pad phone)

  36. December 28, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Hey Luvvie,
    Great post. I had to chime in about the traditional media being slow to confirm things. I used to work for the traditional media and yeah they sure didn’t know who black celebrities are. (Back in the day I was in the newsroom with a Black Enterprise with Diddy on the cover and some older dude said Who’s that?)
    Yeah sad! Traditional media outlets have gotten better with recognizing the black celebs. By the time I left, they were finally all over Beyonce 🙂
    With regard to how long it takes them to confirm a death – it seems longer in this immediate environment – but there is a reason. If they report someone is dead or any other terrible thing that has happened to someone too fast without truly confirming – they can get sued. I know this personally as I added an item to a story that I found on the internet that was probably true about a famous director but didn’t come from a credible source and that celeb’s lawyer called and threatened to sue. We had to put out a retraction. I was surprised I wasn’t fired! So that’s why it takes the traditional media places longer.

    • December 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      I understand why it takes them longer to verify stories. All I’m saying is that BECAUSE it takes them longer, in THIS world we live in, it makes them not the ones to necessarily look for to break news. They’ve seldom been the ones to break it.

      Earthquake in Haiti? Broken on Twitter.
      Hudson River crash? Twitter first.

      And many more.

  37. Stacy
    December 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    This post made it official, I am no longer a lurker but a stand up opinion giver on here… (no seriously, I even signed up for the RSS feed.. you had me at Stages of Twitter Grief) GUUUURL I aint on the Twittah but ‘dont nobady say nuttin bad bout Lady T!!!’ Thank you for jumping all over it and giving a great synopsis. Waiting with baited breath for you to ready Lil Duval..just trife!!

    • Stacy
      December 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm

      Oops I meant ‘read’ Lil Duval.. btw. WHO IS HE!!! 0_o

  38. December 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Great post.

    -sigh- I just want to say I love Whitney Houston, Kanye, Brandy, TLC, Tevin Campbell, Tamia.. in case they pass and people wanna know where I came from with this. And actors, I never tweet about actors, but Al Pacino to Will Smith to Jada Pinkett, oh Lord.

    And I love Reese’s Peanut Butter cups so if it is EVER discontinued I will grieve.

    Can people just tweet their condolences or not tweet? Why do people have to question others validity and take that time to say RIP is overrated? That’s like someone winning an award and smiling ear to ear then a friend goes “awards are dumb anyway.” Like, really, NOW?

    And the other point about ‘ya’ll didn’t even care about them/are celebrities more important”

    Celebrity life is not more important then Victim #2 ‘s passing, but it’s the complete opposite of a nameless death. Musical artists are there when you’re happy and party and sad and crying. They’re saying “F*** the World” and “Keep Your Head up” (both 2pac).

    You see celebs on tv or on the internet more then you see some relatives, and you know more about their past relationships through songs and interviews then you do about your cousin who you didn’t even know was seeing someone until the baby came. It’s a connection. And even singers who aren’t Michael Jackson connected to their audience. Even if you didn’t grow up with an aunt crying to “Out on a Limb” by Teena Marie, you might remember Martin and Gina doing “Fire and Desire” on that one episode of “Martin”.

    They aren’t family or friends, but they’re familiar and mourning something or someone familiar isn’t farfetched.

    Then there is the finality of death that makes people grieve a loss. They think “so we’ll never see/meet them, they’ll never do anthing new, what we have from them is…it…this is the end?.” And it’s sad. Honestly Michael Jackson’s death still saddens me and every time I watch a tv special playing the news coverage of that day I remember it all over again.

    I’m not going to tweet about it every time, but on his birthday and death anniversary of course it’s going to be remembered then.

    Writing “RIP” on twitter is not equivalent to any extreme form of mourning (cutting, insomnia,etc) , so what’s the issue. Smh.

  39. Mellisa
    December 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Great post, and funny as hell. I dare say one of the funniest things I’ve read about Twitter. Thanks. *immediate bookmark* Also following…

    p.s. -The Bargaining stage had me laughing. I saw so much of that the day Teena Marie died. It was outrageous. Glad you addressed it.

    M.

    • December 28, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      Thanks Melissa! That makes me superbly glad!

      And the bargaining phase is just… I saw folks talk bout they’ll trade Teena Marie for Keri Hilson, Ashanti and Ciara. I was like y’all ain’t right.

  40. December 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    This post is SO dead on, Luvvie! This is the exact foolishness that takes place every single time a celebrity death rumor hits Twitter. It seemed to me, though, that the other night was the worst by far. Not even MJ’s death brought out this much eUgliness. There was so much shade flying around, it was like watching a car wreck. I had to log off, and haven’t been back since! *shakes uncontrollably from PTSD*

  41. December 28, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    GLORY BEEEEE. This post … is epic. I wish I buy it a car. Send its chillun to college!

    This post is so perfectly and so wonderfully written and composed. Do they have grammys for blog posts? Academy awards?

    …and you had my favorite phrase in there.

    LUVVIE I DON’T HAVE TIME!!!

    • December 29, 2010 at 3:07 am

      I LOVE YOU, CROWNIE!!! lol

  42. December 28, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Girl, this post is the TRUTH!!!!

    I just had a facebook discussion about allowing folks to grieve in the way the see fit. Stop grief hating!

    Hell I aint heard tasty love in years but if Freddie Jackson passed today (knock on wood) I’d be in tears!

    People kills me trying to tell folks how and what to feel. black Twitter can be to much sometimes…
    smh.

    but definitely a great and accurate post.

  43. Sheek Week
    December 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I truly enjoyed this read.

    • December 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm

      Glad to hear that! Mi blog es su blog.

  44. December 30, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    I just really dislike you for that Chris Brown image. lawd.

  45. […] I was hanging out at Luvvie’s e-Crib (and drank the last of the orange juice and put the empty carton back in the fridge *whistles*), I […]

  46. January 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    lmaoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. I am so late but this is just so true. and tragic.

  47. R.I.P To Nate Dogg « Snewty
    March 16, 2011 at 12:56 am

    […] after going through the “Stages of Twitter Grief of Celebrity Deaths” I have finally embraced the fact that the best to ever lace a hook has passed. Nate suffered […]

  48. Deeloveli
    March 16, 2011 at 1:55 am

    I just watched the cycle unfold before my very eyes. Shout Out to @theonechelle for asking about the post. Losing Nate Dogg is truly tragic. I’m in LA right now and Black West Coast twitter truly is in mourning. But not before there was a ‘it was confirmed by the Press Telegram’ tweet. Followed by ‘yall don’t #eemno Nate Dogg or that real 213. When I was at Poly wit Nate and Snoop…’ I’m going up yonder to see my Lawd.

  49. March 23, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I remember the day the news of Elvis Presley’s death came in. My mother wasn’t the falling-on-the-floor-have-to-grieve-more-than-anyone-else kind, but there was a definite sadness in the house that day.

    Analysing the real emotion I felt recently with the deaths of Teena Marie, Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor, I realise those tears are for the death of part of us. A part of our history – some of which defined and defines us today.

    Love or hate, say, the Brittany Spears and Justin Biebers of this world, our little teeny boppers today will feel that loss when they too are 40, 50, 60.

    Grief for the loss of an era and how and ‘who’ they grew up with.

  50. […] And then TMZ gon publish a story bout how they learned Jesus died. And no one will believe them. And then everyone will go through the 5 Stages of Celebrity Grief on Twitter. […]

  51. […] Really?” –  AwesomelyLuvvie.com’s The Stages of Twitter Grief of Celebrity Deaths *RIP Amy Winehouse* […]

  52. […] just like I brought the Stages of Twitter Grief of Celebrity Deaths, here’s the Stages of Twitter Celebrity Roast and Wig […]

  53. CABEZAGRANDE
    July 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I both hate and love your blogs. I hate that I am still here reading them when I have stuff to do!!! Great stuff had me laughing up a storm.

  54. […] act like complete dummies with no home training or couth. Folks make me pull out my post on the Stages of Celebrity Grief on Twitter VERY often. People don’t even know how to act if the celebrity died years […]

  55. […] everyone grieves the same, but precisely because they do not.  While social media commentator, Luvvie, described it as the 5th step in a 5-step cycle, I see much more included into this […]

  56. June 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    […] Am I late? I’m late on purpose as I look to avoid the too easy to jump on bandwagon of saying all the cliche things for clicks bandwagon that is the mourning of a celebrity/famous/notable on social media. […]

  57. […] Am I late? I’m late on purpose as I look to avoid the too easy to jump on bandwagon of saying all the cliche things for clicks bandwagon that is the mourning of a celebrity/famous/notable on social media. […]

  58. […] me today. Credit to Awesomely Luvvie, […]

  59. Missannethrope
    April 23, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Another insane type of arguing about grieving: you shouldn’t mourn the passing of so-and-so because he was a misogynist, he treated his first wife bad, he had underage groupies, etc. etc. Yes, maybe so, but his music is part of my DNA. Don’t try to police my feels!

  60. […] Umm…I would have to say the 5 stages of celebrity twitter grief by luvvie. I feel the post in-itself is so relevant. It talks about the stages of Twitter grief […]