When Doves Cry… And Social Media Goes Nuts.
When news broke of Prince’s passing yesterday,
I immediately did four things.
1. Checked on my friend, Nick as he’s been an enormous Prince fan since a weirdly young age.
2. Called my Mom as the memory of me coming home early from middle school to her power walking on the treadmill, blaring Prince (more specifically a song with the lyrics, “YOU SEXY MOTHER #$%*ER…”) are forever etched in my mind.
3. Alerted our marketing and social media team to post about his death and find a cool shot of him for Instagram.
4. Felt guilty about not even digesting his passing before thinking about jumping on the social media rush.
We’re living in an interesting yet bizarre time. An era where a legend dies and floods of people instantly take to social media to collectively mourn, and businesses even try and find ways to most creatively do so.
Our insanely talented graphic designers at Blackrose NYC posted this perfect image on their Instagram page and got over 10,000 views in just 2 hours.
When other music legends like David Bowie, Phife Dawg and Scott Weiland recently passed, I had similar, conflicting emotions. Are people using these moments disingenuously and even finding ways to capitalize on the sadness? That may be the case in some circumstances, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that the majority of activity is authentic, and if nothing else, provides a forum to properly celebrate that person’s epic life.
When I was a kid and terrible news broke, we simply turned on the TV or radio, and just sat in disbelief.
Today, there tends to be a slow wave of online activity. The story breaks and people first post about it as matter of fact, shocking news. Then later that day, incredible things start surfacing socially.
Yesterday, it was posts like this:
And then this:
And of course this.
In no other time have we been able to acknowledge public figure’s lives like we can today. The rare, never before seen videos resurface. Quotes, articles and newly leaked, behind the scenes photographs trickle out. Through all of this, people who may never have understood someone’s significance to the world are then educated on it.
There’s now millions of kids who’ll be jamming to Prince this weekend that may never have otherwise. Social media made that happen. Now if we could only find a way for these kids to use their social accounts to focus on positive messaging and building each other up… then doves would truly, happily cry!