You can’t fake mourning, even on Twitter

Late last week, when I was looking over the trending topics on Twitter, I happened to notice among them, “RIP Madonna.”

I didn’t even have to look, of course.  These days if you see RIP Anyone on Twitter, the assumption is it’s fake.  In fact, I’m quite sure it’s become some sort of stupid game to do it, though I haven’t done any actual research on the matter.  But it made me laugh anyway, because it was just a new level of ridiculousness.

If you want proof of that, just look at what happened the weekend before, when Whitney Houston died for real.  I’m not sure how often I saw her actual name trending.  But most of her hits trended, multiple times.  So did The Bodyguard.  I think Kevin Costner showed up among the topics a couple of times, as did Bobby Brown & Bobbi Kristina.  More strikingly, they all did at the same time until more often than not that weekend, every single top trending topic worldwide was to do with her.  That’s a display of news the entire world reacts to.  That’s a spread of true grief.

If Twitter is still around when Madonna does happen to die?  You won’t see RIP Madonna trending.  You’ll see Material Girl trending, and Like a Virgin trending, and Evita trending.  Nothing else will be able to trend for a week.  That’s not something anyone will ever be able to fake.

So really, the whole RIP thing needs to go away.  Now that we’ve seen the real thing expose it for how fake it is, what’s the point?


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