Where do broken hearts go? To the internet, of course

Posted by Gina Pappas on February 14, 2012 |

In the past, grieving publicly was a practice reserved for those who openly wore their heart on their sleeves. But, this weekend I noticed a new trend emerging through social media upon the passing of music legend
Whitney Houston.

People have taken their mourning viral.

Granted, social media offers a filter that prevents others from seeing you cry –or doing your most heartfelt rendition of “I Will Always Love You” into your hairbrush mic. But it also provides an outlet for people to freely express their shock, despair and memories of the pop icon, and to bond with others who are also feeling a similar, sudden sense of loss.

This weekend, videos again proved their virtual power. Within minutes of the news of her death, Houston’s spine-tingling rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” made its way through my Facebook and Twitter feeds, with multiple friends and brands sharing the link to her 1991 performance.

Shortly after the news of her death broke, nine out of 10 trending topics on Twitter were related to Houston:

R.I.P Whitney Houston
Beverly Hilton Hotel
#IWillAlwaysLoveYou
#Crackkills
Bobby Brown
Wanna Dance With Somebody
The Preacher’s Wife
The Bodyguard
Clive Davis

By the end of the day on Saturday, Houston’s music was at the top of the iTunes chart. The public was reminded of Houston’s undeniable talent and potential and, in their own way, grieving the loss of the Queen of Pop who was once on top of the world.

I grew up listening to Whitney, and I nodded along with Facebook post after Facebook post lamenting her death. Although I didn’t share my grief through Twitter, I took solace in reading the posts of those who did.

I’m happy to see social media uniting people through its power. Move over Kleenex, and make way for the new media version of mourning.

 

 

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