Mourning Celebrity Deaths Online

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kagayours, Mar 17, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.


  1. This video is... wow. I was blown away. I mean, in a good way. Not only was his argument extremely compelling, but, I mean, compared to this guy's usual, upbeat internet persona... yeah, the gloves came off on this one. o_o

    Personally, I never saw anything wrong with mourning online, or mourning celebrities -- and I never even realized there was much of a debate about it until the wave of celebrity deaths this year. I didn't really have much of a strong argument as to why it was ok, I just... didn't feel like there was anything wrong with it, nor did I think it was really right to tell other people how to mourn, even when I did at least understand the other side's argument. And this video just... yeah, I found it very compelling, and I completely agree with it.

    What about you guys? What are your opinions on this? What was your opinion previously, and did this video change your mind? (I mean, given the fact that I've seen numerous threads dedicated to David Bowie and other recently-departed celebrities here in GC, I think I can assume that at least a decent chunk of you agree with me, but, you know.)
     
    • Like Like x 4
  2. Personally I just assumed public grieving helping getting over loss to be something so insanely obvious you'd have be socially blind not to get that... and that's coming from an Autistic person. That being said though, I was always aware of the few bad eggs that took the "Keep it to yourself whiner!" stance on the matter, I just wasn't aware that mentality was actually popular enough to warrant debate.

    Granted, I did go through Early Childhood Education myself and one of the things we learned about then was the stuff mentioned in the video... But honestly for me those classes were more just expanding upon the obvious, I really didn't expect there to be such a big crowd of people completely lacking an understanding of it.

    That being said, anyone whose seen me during grief knows I'm the kind of person to just isolate myself and deal with it alone (If it's something serious like in the family, I'm public with cases like a celebrity death). Where only a small amount of individuals are able to actually pursue me/get me to talk about the topic without me completely snapping at them (Stuff like Funerals not counting. I can keep a lid on it during public events as long as social interaction is kept to a minimum). But, that was always just my own personal preference. I always understood that how I handle grief is very different from the norm.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. I don't see anything wrong with mourning the death of celebrities online to be honest. I remember when Robin Williams died, posting about it on Facebook.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I didn't notice it much, either, until the wave of celebrity deaths this year, starting with David Bowie. One of the main arguments that I saw getting thrown around was that it was somehow "exploiting" their deaths, and that people were only posting about it to draw more attention to themselves, but, ehhh... >_>
     
  5. Yea, I don't get how anyone rationalizes that.
    As if people spend hours looking up remembrance posts just to follow the pages or something. >.<
     
  6. Ehhh'...

    I don't generally like seeing waves of people posting prolifically about the deaths of celebrities, but not because of some exploitative angle. I don't give a damn what people post about other people, I'm not that conceited to think that my social values should apply to everyone. It's more thinking about the families of those who died, and the massive shitshow that results every time a celebrity dies. It's why when celebrities like Michael Jackson or Robin Williams died, my only remark was essentially "that's a shame" and left them alone. They should be left to grieve alone. This isn't even out of some pseudo sciency nonsense about how secularism and the fall of traditionalism has somehow led to a lack of acceptance about death: It's because people do crazed, insane shit over the deaths of celebrities. Like Michael Jackson's funeral had to be held in secret, because the family was genuinely worried that people would try to loot his fucking corpse.

    "Grief should be communal" my ass. Grief should be whatever you need it to be, and the community should not force its sorrow upon each other. If you need to make a comment about it, facebook or twitter is the harmless way to go about it, but understand that not everyone is going to care about your sorrow. Some people will criticize it and see it as vapid, and I guarantee you, some people do actually do it purely for attention. If people spout hate speech just to troll and get a reaction out of people, is it really so hard to believe that some people troll for positive attention through false laments?

    PBS Idea Channel has extrapolated from a supposition. Tsss. He should know better than to make a purely emotional plea like this.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
  7. It always seemed fake to me. But that's just from my perspective, because no matter how hard I try, I just can't mourn people I didn't know personally. "He/she was funny/entertaining/inspirational, too bad s/he's gone now" is the extent of my mourning, but in truth I don't really feel a whole lot about it. I usually don't make posts, either.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. If I really enjoyed the celebrity's work, then yes I will mourn them online.

    David Bowie is a prime example because of how much Labyrinth shaped my childhood and how I had a HUGE crush on the Goblin King. Another good example is Robin Williams who I thought was one of the funniest men on Earth and I will forever love him for bringing life to the Genie. There are a ton of other examples I could also name.

    If you're a fan of the celebrity that died, then yes you should mourn them and at the same time be thankful for them blessing the world with their talent and providing great material. At the same time, you should also respect the family and close friends of the celebrity and respect their privacy.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
  9. I was in acting school when I found out bout David Bowie and Alan Rickman... I was being taught by Alan Merriot (Bob the builder) and he was utterly shocked and sad that Alan Rickman had also died...
     
  10. I used to think all the people mourning celebrity deaths were ridiculous. They didn't know these people - how could they really mourn their deaths?

    Then Robin Williams died. I was absolutely heartbroken. I was legitimately mourning his death, because of how he shaped my childhood. He felt more like an uncle to me than a stranger, as silly as that sounds. He taught me that it was okay to be silly as a little girl. I felt like I had lost someone very important to me that day.

    I no longer judge people for mourning celebrity deaths.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. Death and loss affects each one of us in a very different way, and the grief that results from both can be felt even if you never met the person. Influential people, like Bowie and Rickman, do just that, after all: they influence us. They impact upon our lives, teach us new ideas or create art that resonates with us and in turns changes the way we look at the world. That's a very powerful thing, at the end of the day, so it makes perfect sense to me that so many people would find the loss of such an influential person so affecting. The counter of "OH WELL YOU NEVER KNEW THEM" doesn't really hold water when we're talking about people who have been such an important part of the public Zeitgeist for so long.

    I see where the dude (I need to sub this guy, if this is the sort of content he produces) is coming from with the whole funeral selfie issue, though I would disagree. Selfies place the person taking the shot as the central figure of the image, the most important part, which runs completely counter to what I've always thought a funeral should be about. Good funerals celebrate the life of the person they're for, so by stealing focus away from the dead person you're basically defeating the whole purpose of the event.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Love Love x 3
  12. Did I just watch another one of your videos?
    I just got the feeling like I did.
    I've heard a number of different opinions on this. But it does mainly just come down to two main camps.
    The "Funerals are for the person" outlook and the "Funerals are for the mourners" outlook.

    Both are valid, and I think it once again highlights the fact that people mourn differently.
     
  13. Terry Pratchetts death made me cry, actually, physically cry. Bowies death had my entire workplace in a slump. Art has the ability to connect you with people, music and books and movies have a ability to become incredibly important to people and their identity.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. O_O I fail to see how looting a corpse really equates to online mourning -- or really any mourning. I totally agree that the families of the deceased shouldn't be harassed, but I don't see how online mourning is comparable to that kind of harassment.

    And... the video never said that it shouldn't?

    He specifically addressed the fact that, yes, grief should be whatever you need it to be, and that if you don't want to grieve online then that's your right and there's nothing wrong with that. I didn't see the point of the video as telling everyone that they should mourn online -- but rather, if you choose to do so, there's nothing wrong with that. It seems to be in response to the criticisms that people have of online mourning. I think that he brought up the historical prevalence of communal mourning not to say that it's the one right way to mourn, but rather to defend the idea that communal mourning was considered, for a long time, to be the more "normal" option, and so it shouldn't be surprising that so many people are now expressing their grief online in this internet age -- because one could argue that wanting to share your grief with others could arguably be considered the more "natural" thing to do. Again, that's not to say that it's the only right way to mourn or that people shouldn't be able to grieve privately if they want. To me, Mike seemed to be arguing that we shouldn't shun the idea of mourning online or look down on people for doing so, because it's natural and healthy for a lot of people and helps those people grieve -- not that every single person is obligated to grieve in this way or to participate in doing it with others.

    Eh... I still don't see it as a very effective way to get attention. If you're really that desperate for attention on the internet and you don't even know or care about the person who died, wouldn't you get a lot more attention if you said something bad about the person in question? Standing out as a troll as opposed to blending in with the common opinion that it's sad to see this person go and that they will be missed?

    But, even if we assume that a lot of people do just do it for attention, I still don't think it's right to assume that that's what a lot of people are doing. And I see this video as basically defending the people who are actually mourning, saying that there is legitimate reason to mourn online and that not everyone is just doing it for attention. Because claiming that the only reason anyone would mourn online is just for attention... well, I feel like that can be a pretty harmful thing to say to someone who is actually mourning. And I don't think it's really right to question whether someone is actually mourning either. I think it's better to assume that whoever you're talking to on the other end is actually hurting and to just let them do what they need to do to feel better rather than condemn for sharing their feelings just because you think those feelings might not be legitimate -- especially since you don't need to say anything to anyone in order to let them do their thing, so you don't need to give anyone attention if you're worried that some people don't deserve it. (Not that I'm saying that you would openly condemn someone for such a thing -- but the video seemed to be directed at the sorts of people who would, so, yeah.)

    I for one really like the fact that he just let his emotions out without needing to keep up a 'professional' appearance -- because this is an emotional topic. I know you're the type to place logic and reason over emotion, but grief is... emotional. And I can only assume that Mike was inspired to make this video by the negative responses he presumably got to his own online mourning, like with, as mentioned, David Bowie. And if he was trying to express his grief online and then criticized for it, well, can you really be surprised that he would feel hurt? Offended? Wanting to defend himself? Can you really be surprised that anyone would be emotional and have at least a somewhat emotionally-charged response to having their grief be questioned by people who assume that it's wrong or that he's only doing it for attention?

    Besides, it's not as if the entire video was nothing more than an emotional rant. He provided reasoning and evidence as to why online mourning is natural and not necessarily an act of attention-seeking, and why a lot of people do it completely in earnest. Yes, it was an emotional video, because this is an emotional topic, and he's defending the emotions of people who do mourn online and who have been criticized for doing so, with him undoubtedly being one of those people. And despite being emotional, he at least maintained a put-together argument, so... I really don't see why he's wrong for being emotional, in this case.

    Most of his videos aren't quite as serious or emotionally-charged as this one. Like I said, he got a lot more... direct in this video than he usually does. He's usually a lot more laid-back and generally doesn't so passionately defend a single side of something.

    Most of his channel focuses around taking pop culture-y things and discussing and analyzing them in the context of history and psychology and that sort of thing -- usually starting with a popular video game or TV show or cultural trend and then using that to go into a discussion on a more broad concept. That probably sounds cheap the way I described it, but I find his channel's content fairly interesting. Also, the core concept of the channel is usually more along the lines of "here's a cool thing to think about, and here's what I think about it but I'd like to know what you guys think" as opposed to something where he so strongly picks a side (though I'd definitely argue that he has good reason to pick a side, in this particular case). Soooo don't expect him to really attack the other side quite like this in his other videos. But yeah, I would still totally recommend checking him out if you think you'd find those sorts of pop culture analyses interesting.
     
  15. Quick Caveat: Keep in mind that my position is still the same as before: That I don't intend to push my social views on anyone here. If you think grief should be more communal, good for you. If you don't, good for you. I'm disagreeing expressly and solely with PBS Idea Channel and in this post, I'm detailing exactly why it bothers me. You're free to disagree, and you aren't stupid or particularly wrong for disagreeing. This is a purely personal opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Because online mourning is a great way to echo chamber people into a much greater level of stupidity than they'd normally be alone. A single person is generally harmless unless unstable, a group of people can feed into mass hysteria, especially if they're emotionally compromised.

    What the hell do you think feeds the media empire of Gawker? A conglomerate that has built its entire business model around obsessing over celebrities to the degree of stalking them and violating their privacy?

    I don't support anything that feeds an unhealthy obsession. It's okay to feel sad over the loss of something you cared about (like I grew up with Star Trek so Leonard Nimoy passing beyond the veil of grey upset me), but I express concern when that feeling of loss utterly dominates the individual and subsumes their otherwise rational capacities. Because that's when people do deranged, insane shit. Like looting the corpse of a celebrity mid-funeral. We already obsess way too much over people who basically just make a living creating fantasies for us to enjoy. Watching people break down completely like this is unsettling. People shouldn't be this easily broken.
    "As Western Culture has become more secular... And after the rise of the death and funeral industry, we have less opportunity to directly confront mortality, and fewer traditions which guide us through the process of grieving." (2:40)
    "In reality, grief is and often should be communal, it's not a sign of weakness, but an admission of loss... One cannot get through it, because grief, never ends. Grief is not separate from day to day life, but a part of it." (4:12)
    "If you would like to grieve privately, that is your right..." (4:40)
    "... Historically, the communal sharing of grief online is much more like the bereavement process as it has existed in other times, and places, save for this brief lacuna where we've been brought up to think of it as weak, shameful, and private. Not even given the choice." (4:48)

    It's basic emotional manipulation and I really don't fuckin' appreciate it. First he makes a fantastical generalization about humanity concerning its religious and cultural doctrines without at all bothering to explain them in any manner, as though they're simply fact because he said they are. Then he goes on to say that the feeling of loss or grief is an every day phenomena, which... It's patently not, because to suggest that people are dealing with the death of people they care about every day is disingenuous and ludicrous: There simply aren't that many people one can physically care about to have grief appear that often within their lives. Unless he's honestly comparing the total loss of another human life to someone feeling bad because they were called something mean, in which case, that's still disingenuous, but now it's a purely serendipitous stretch of the term from its original reference point (ie: online mourning) and the point has been entirely lost. Melancholy is not grief.

    Then, he ends up contradicting himself within a minute. I'm allowed to grieve personally, but to think in such a manner is "unnatural" to history, and implying that I must have been indoctrinated into such a method of expression because I would have "not even been given the choice." The juxtaposition of these two positions is not likely coincidental either. It's also entirely inaccurate: The idea that people (or at least men) should possess great emotional control (including over grief) is something at least as old as the ancient empires of Alexander the Great, or Julius Caesar. Social rules about emotions, and postulations on how to properly control and/or express emotions, were some of the first thoughts ever put to parchment and recorded in history. Part of the concept of masculinity within Western Culture is the idea that men possess the discipline to know when, where, and how to express their various emotions properly. This either means that he's talking out of his ass and is ignorant on the subject, or he's intentionally being manipulative about what particular "cultures" he's referencing when talking about how typical the expression of communal grief is.

    This isn't the first time he's intentionally gone out of his way to use emotional manipulation against people. He's an ideologue who will redefine terminology to suit his own needs. I don't hate the guy: He can make interesting points, but holy fuck you have to take what he says with a heaping pile of salt because he goes in with a specific point of view and rejects all others. And I'm sorry, but on this point, he's either criminally misrepresenting history to try and twist the conversation to suit his own ideological perspective, or he's wildly ignorant of human history, and what grief is.

    That's why I said "PBS Idea Channel has extrapolated from a supposition." What he says is just that: Supposition. Nothing more. It's an interesting idea but the way it's presented rubs me the wrong way, because I much prefer logical arguments, and I got none of that here. His emotional argument is being stated as fact, without a single shred of logic in it. This isn't right for someone who uses an educational tone with his videos.

    Again, it doesn't make him a terrible person. Just so we're clear. He's a guy with an opinion, one I sometimes agree with, one I sometimes don't. But he's patently painting one side as better than the other, and he's doing so through emotional manipulation.
    Iwaku had to create an entire subforum within GD just for people to go talk about personal subjects in it. That's how common pleas for attention due to grief are. Not all of them are for bad reasoning though. Hell, I would argue most have a genuine tint to them: They just want someone to respond positively to them and echo their sentiments so they don't feel alone. But some people thrive off of this. Some people thrive off of pity, and will do anything to get it.
    See, here is where I'll disagree, respectfully, and this is probably because my view of grief is different from that of PBS Idea Channel.

    Nothing is more important to me than self control. Discipline. You can feel pain, you can express pain, but you cannot allow others to control your life. If someone else pushes you over the edge because they dislike something you said, that's a failing on you, not on them. Someone can be a cruel, vindictive piece of shit, but you can't control that. You can't control them. You can only control how you react to them. If I were to, say, express grief over the death of Leonard Nimoy publicly, and someone else told me to, say, "stop being such a faggot" or "you didn't know him so how can you feel sad over him you stupid fuck?" My response would be... Nothing. At the very most, I'd take a snide shot back, and move on with my life. Even if I agreed with his view here, that grief should be communal, making a video like this and using nothing but emotional appeals is beyond useless. Nobody who disagrees with him will be moved by an emotional appeal. If all he's looking for is an echo chamber, then why talk about it as though it's an educational piece of information?

    I mean, fuck, it's not like the whole "discipline and self control over emotions" thing is my idea. It's fucking ancient. The quote in my signature by Epictetus is a reference to an entire philosophical school of thought dedicated to the control and sometimes outright repression over emotions like grief.

    Because he's trying to manipulate people. Education should be about the enlightenment of people through logical means. If you use or express emotions at all, they should be secondary to logic, because your responsibility as an educator is to talk about facts first. The fact that he fails to do this, and still uses the educational authority of his channel to present his suppositions as facts, rubs me the wrong way.

    It'd be like if I wrote an RP guide about religion. Then told people "you're free to believe what you want, but religion is an artificial construct of humanity and atheism is the natural de facto state of Western Culture." #1: I would be wrong. #2: I would be operating out of a supposition. #3: People would (rightfully) call my ass out on it as educational material poisoned by ideology.

    Again. To stress this point further: He's not a terrible person, and this is entirely personal distaste on my part. I don't like how he's using the educational nature of his channel to wield juxtaposition and deeply flawed generalizations about history to introduce the idea of communal grief. He could do a much better job in my opinion. Then again, you're right when you say that I'm not normally one to like emotional appeals. Yet, they have their place. This is purely an emotional appeal, but I love it, and think it's a fantastic piece of cinematic history that needs to be shared by people, and whose ideas should be held in greater regard than they are now. Yet, the reason why Chaplin's emotional appeal works for me, and PBS Idea Channel's emotional appeals typically don't, is because Chaplin doesn't pretend his is built on historical facts.
    Uh... He picks sides all the time. I'm not sure he's capable of talking about a subject without picking a side first. At least, from what I've seen of him, but then, I've likely seen some of his more egregious errors, as opposed to the majority of his core content. Generally though if I want a channel of "guy talks about neat thing to camera" I'll look up VSauce. He does it the way I like: Citing facts.
     
  16. Personally, a pet peeve of mine is complaining about other people mourning.
     
    • Love Love x 1
  17. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, and it is certainly healthy because celebrities are oftentimes role models and inspirations to people, so when someone who wasn't directly a part of your life but nevertheless had a hand in shaping it, I think it would be abnormal to not feel like mourning.

    However, it is worth noting that a lot of the times, it can come across as somewhat insincere or over-the-top with some people, and when practically everyone on social media simply links something like "RIP" with a link or whatever, it just becomes numbing and you wonder how many people are just kind of going through the motions. Not that there's anything inheriently wrong with that, but it kind of feels like as a society, there's a small pressure to conform to the collective grievance and mourning of a celebrity's death, and that you're in the wrong for not joining in the chorus of condolences. And like Brovo mentioned, get enough people together and mob mentality kicks in and so do some really stupid decisions.

    It's one thing to express your sorrow online, but I do take issue with people flying across the country to try and attend a funeral for a celebrity; that, I believe, should be the realm of family and friends, and considering we feed a culture that obsesses over celebrity (the fact that gossip rags and news sites are among the most popular pieces of media is telling, or why a celebrity dating someone or what they're wearing appears side by side with a national tragedy on news feeds os telling), people simply don't see celebrities as people and feel entitled to them.

    While the majority of the population grieves a celebrity's passing with sharing stories about how they were touched by their work, and creating wonderful tributes like fan art, there's a certain segement of people who do things like buy locks of hair and stalk celebrities and other creepy things who really take things too far.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  18. >_> I won't deny that crazies exist, but I still don't think that means we should condemn the entire practice. There are plenty of people who just want to simply say "I'm sad that this person died" without starting a rally to do crazy things. This just feels sort of like a slippery slope fallacy to me -- just because online mourning could lead to people doing crazy things doesn't mean that most people who participate in it go on to do crazy things, nor does it mean the entire practice should be condemned for it.

    Eh, I still don't think he's trying to be manipulative. And I think the only reason he phrased communal mourning as if it "should" be "normal" is just to argue against the people who are saying it's unnatural. He saw people claiming that mourning online isn't right, and then said that communal mourning is a thing that's nearly always been around. I don't think he's trying to say it's wrong to not grieve communally, though. Just that... communal grief is normal and it's always been around. Not "normal" as in "everyone should be this way without exception", just "normal" as in "this particular point in history is the odd-one-out in that so many people disagree with mourning being communal, so it's unsurprising that so many people are engaging in it now". I agree that some of his choices of wording weren't the best, but, I really don't think he was trying to be manipulative. I think that, in this video in particular, he was letting himself be a bit raw and uncensored, and some of his points may not have been worded in the best way. But I really don't see him as trying to be manipulative.

    I can understand why you dislike his style. You like it when people use hard facts and avoid biases. But... just because someone is biased doesn't mean they're being emotionally manipulative, I don't think. Also, I'm not sure that him being an "educational" channel really means he can't ever share his opinions. I admit that this particular video is definitely an exception, but most of his videos start with "here's an idea" and end with "let me know what you guys think". He presents an idea and shares his reasoning as to why he thinks a certain thing, and then asks to hear other people's thoughts. And then, in a follow-up video, he even does comment responses in which he addresses things that he didn't bring up. I admit I can't pull up any examples off the top of my head (as I don't always watch the comment response videos), but I'm pretty sure he's even addressed counter-arguments in the past. (Don't quote me on that, though...) Regardless, he never struck me as one to shove his opinion down someone else's throat (though this video is a bit of an exception, and, yeah, he was strictly arguing one side here -- I just think it was moreso to defend himself and others in the same boat as him than to make anyone feel bad for mourning privately). He always seemed very laid-back and open to other ideas. Yes, he has his own opinion that he presents in his videos. Yes, he has bias. Yes, sometimes he gets things a bit wrong or words things badly. But, you know what? I just see that as being part of the more casual tone of his videos. He never seemed to be too opposed to acknowledging someone correcting something in the comment response videos. He's imperfect, but, I don't think he's trying to be manipulative. And... I don't think it's necessarily bad that people can show opinions, or emotions, or even some bias, especially if it's coming from someone who is just trying to share an idea (not necessarily a fact that all people should agree with...) and someone who usually doesn't cling so strongly to one side. He may choose a side, yes, which I think is normal and acceptable, but, he's usually more open to counter-arguments (this video being an exception, but, given the fact that it's an emotional topic that he was personally affected by... I can't say I can blame him).

    I definitely understand the value of getting the facts right and not allowing bias into the equation, and my own opinion is probably a relatively unpopular one, but... eh, there's a lot more I can say about this topic, but, if we're going to continue this discussion, we should probably do it in PM's, because we're starting to veer pretty far off-topic.

    (EDIT: I wrote this post in pieces, and, coming back to this piece... ok, I concede that his wording and presentation in this episode was definitely not the best. I still don't think he was intentionally trying to be manipulative, though, and I think that, in general, he's usually a lot more laid-back and open-minded. This particular video, though? Yeah, I can totally see where you're coming from. As I've said, though, this video is pretty far-removed from his usual stuff -- definitely a lot more emotionally charged and one-sided than normal. So, it's hard to defend this video in particular, but I'll still say that I don't think his channel in general is supposed to be manipulative or anything of that sort.)

    Eh. As I've briefly mentioned in conversation with you before, I don't see the Counseling section as being as toxic as you see it, nor do I think that so many people there are desperately seeking attention. But, we've already gone over this, so I'm not going to debate you on that specifically.

    That being said, though, I feel like the way people vent talk about their problems in-depth in the Counseling section (regardless of whether or not it's a cry for attention) is rather far-removed from the sort of online grief that the video was referring to. Multi-paragraph posts in Counseling don't seem to be the same thing as someone simply saying "I'm sad that this person died" in a status update or tweet, especially in regards to celebrity deaths.

    In fact, haven't all the recent celebrity death threads around here... been in GC? And not in Counseling? The threads people post about these figures after they die -- expressing how sad they are as people talk about what that figure meant to them and why they're sad that they're gone -- seem more like the sort of communal mourning that the video was trying to get at. I suppose that's why I had a hard time seeing online mourning as a cry for attention -- because when I think of "mourning celebrity deaths online", I think of an explosion of Facebook statuses and Tweets and Tumblr reblogs and even GC threads following the news of what happened, all consisting of people sharing their sorrow -- although the comments are often brief, with many of them hardly focusing on the person posting them and instead often saying little more than "this is sad, he meant so much to me" (that's not to say that longer posts about celebrity deaths don't exist at all, just that many of them are shorter, and that they look a lot less like a cry for attention in that way). If it's someone expressing their mourning for someone they personally knew, then, yeah, I can see how it might be more of a plea for attention, since, odds are the people they interact with online won't know the person who died and therefore can't really share in the grief so much as comfort the mourner, if anything. I still disagree that it's right to assume that people are doing it for attention when perhaps some people might be legitimately hurt and seeking comfort, but, at least it's easier for me to see where you're coming from, now.

    I guess that communal grieving really is a lot more communal when it's with a celebrity, and not a person that someone personally knew -- because it's only really with a well-known figure like a celebrity that you can go online and expect there to be other people who share your grief. Meanwhile, if it's a personal friend or family member... well, unless you're talking to other personal friends and family on Facebook, there really won't be many people to share your grief with. I mean, you can try, but the people you throw your grief at can't really grieve with you, only sympathize with you, if they decide to comment at all. In this way, I can understand how online grieving may seem like a cry for attention, and maybe sometimes that is what's going on, but I wouldn't want to make those kinds of assumptions about such a sensitive topic.

    Still, now that I've noticed it, it definitely feels like there's a distinction between mourning celebrities online (which I feel is more truly communal in the way the video was trying to refer to) and going online to talk about the deaths of friends and family members that other people likely won't know. So... I can definitely see where you're coming from, now, at least in regards to the latter camp. As far as the former camp goes, it still doesn't seem nearly as much like a cry for attention as much as people gathering together in shared grief.

    Eh... I feel like we fundamentally disagree on a lot of things regarding emotion (which I've actually been thinking about a lot lately...). While a further discussion on this might be interesting, I feel like it's getting really off-topic, so, I'll keep it to myself unless you want to continue this in PM's.

    I know he usually picks a side, I'm just saying he usually doesn't stick so strongly to a side. Like I said, his videos seem to generally work like "here's an idea, here's what I think about the idea, now let me know what you guys think". It's only in this video in particular (or maybe a few other bad eggs that aren't coming to mind at the moment, I dunno) that he gets so emotionally charged about the topic at hand. Normally, yes, he picks a side and argues that side, showing his own opinion... but he's generally a lot more laid-back about it and comes off as a bit more open-minded. That said, I think it's pretty clear we disagree about the place that opinion has in these sorts of things... and I won't continue on that here.

    The only reason I brought it up that way was because Grumpy said he might watch more of his videos if they were like this one, and I felt it would be fair to point out that if he was expecting really forceful opinions like this one, he probably wouldn't be seeing much of it. ...Because I see his channel in general as being a lot more laid-back, presenting an idea and an opinion, yes, but not trying to defend it nearly as strongly or emotionally as he did here.
     
  19. Hmm. I see what you mean. I still like to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they're being sincere, but, yeah, I'm sure there's also some sort of pressure to go along with it, even if you don't care so much.

    Would you say that this is the same thing as someone attending a funeral, not because they really want to, but because they feel pressured to do so? I feel like that's the same sort of peer pressure at work, just on a smaller scale.

    Well, yeah, I agree that all of that's going too far. I just didn't agree with the idea that online mourning in general is bad just because of a few crazies who go way over-the-top with it.
     
  20. I think this phenomenon has more to do with humanity's need to confront mortality than it does histrionics.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.