It was a punch to the gut while transferring from Thanksgiving festivities to Christmas festivities and hearing the news that Paul Walker's life was taken in a devastating car crash.
In an age of cruel online death hoaxes though, what are the chances that Paul Walker, Fast & Furious' golden boy, would lose his life to the road?
We waited with bated breath, refreshing tacky gossip sites that consider days like that day, a success... as far as their traffic is concerned. These are the numbers they will inevitably show advertisers on a glossy one sheet. Puke.
Astonishingly the confirmation of Paul Walker's passing came from Paul Walker himself. At least his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Is this the first time that a celebrity's death was confirmed by their social media profiles?
As we received word that Jenni Rivera went missing... We refreshed her Twitter page hoping to read anything to the contrary that she was in jeopardy. There was silence. Soon after, we discovered that her life was tragically cut short in a plane crash. To this day, her Twitter profile remains silent. Leaving a haunting reminder of her passing, but also leaving an intimate library of her words and the moments leading up to her death.
As rumors swirled that Paul Walker's body was among the two pulled from the crash, unrecognizable due to the fire, his Twitter numbers catapulted with eager individuals looking for any sign of life. The actor went from 700,000 followers on Twitter to 2 MILLION.
I can't determine whether or not I am impressed with Paul Walker's representation or uncomfortable by the representation with how quickly they accessed his social media accounts and began the updates. It was done eloquently, without a beat. But were we ready for the confirmation to come from that source?
I want to know what is going on with his charity, I want to know more about the accident, but is it appropriate to do it through the dead actor's existing social media channels? People that are concerned with NUMBERS would say that it's a no brainer... but there is something so delicate about looking at Jenni Rivera's quiet feed. As if you're seeing the last page of her diary.
I appreciate that #TeamPW continues to be diligent in keeping his fans engaged in his causes, but I wish that they would leave his personal social accounts alone, allowing us to revisit the real man behind Brian O'Connor. His fun exchanges with friends, his photos, and him reprimanding Justin Bieber. It feels like when you continue the marketing machine, you lose the man.