2016 was a complicated year for many, and although good things happened people were overwhelmed by negative events that seemed to define the year. People took their displeasure to social media to share what they thought was the worst year ever. Events such as Donald Trump being elected as the president of the United States, multiple shootings around the world, terrorist attacks around the Europe and the Middle East account for just a small portion of the bad news in 2016. Another aspect that contributed to 2016’s gloomy vibe was the abundance of celebrity deaths that occurred.

In North American society, the lives of celebrities are worshiped for their lifestyle and influence they have over people. Singers and actors influence people starting at a young age, and because of the deaths of some of the most influential celebrities, people have been talking about it non-stop. People such as David Bowie, Mohamad Ali, Prince, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds all passed away in 2016, leaving fans in a state of despair. A majority of these celebrities died prematurely, which is why most people reacted in disbelief. Carrie Fisher influenced a generation and continued to after her role in the Star Wars saga as Princess Leia. She was very open with the public about her struggles with mental health, and that made people invest their time getting to know her as a person even if from afar.

People have criticized fans mourning on social media, describing the fans as dramatic or insincere considering the deaths of countless firefighters, police, and ordinary citizens. Some believe there is a difference and recognition between a celebrity and a citizen death. All the recognition on social media for the deceased celebrities are from people who grew up and felt like they knew that celebrity. When it comes to the deaths of civilians there might not be as much recognition, as people may not have known that citizen personally or what that person did. But most would say that just because you want to publically acknowledge the passing of your favorite singer, it doesn’t mean you don’t care about the lives and deaths of ordinary people.

The amount of deaths of celebrities reminded a lot of people about their own mortality and how they won’t live forever. People can start to think about the impact they’re leaving in the world, as these celebrities who have passed left a huge impact on society. Ordinary people may not realize that they leave an impact on the world as well by doing day to day things such as their job, volunteering, recycling, etc. No matter what happened in 2016, the celebrities will always be remembered for their influence on generations.