The cathartic outpouring of social media is usually a landscape to acknowledge the death of a beloved celebrity, but on the day that Robin Williams died, it was really the first time I've ever seen people outwardly mourn on the Internet. I scoured the web for an ounce of cynicism about it. I even went to 4Chan to see what those assh*les were doing, but instead of insensitive jokes, in the most horrible, cynical, and moral-free zone on the visible web, 80% of it was covered with people sharing favorite movies, moments, and emotions. Not a single suicide joke, just even the worst people you could imagine sharing love. That's what Robin Williams left behind. Love.
Facebook wasn't flooded with simple #RIP's, but with paragraph-long shocked realizations that they were feeling something. The hashtag about Robin Williams dying has been trending for over 24 hours. I'd love to see the Netflix numbers of Robin Williams movies being watched. I re-watched The Birdcage last night, it really holds up.
Twitter brought us the Obamas mourning and Zelda Williams, his 25-year-old daughter, saying a public goodbye to her father.
Robin Williams was the face, voice, and talent of a lot of our childhoods: Hook, Aladdin, Jumanji, Dead Poets Society (the safest movie that teachers would play when they had nothing left to teach for the day), The Birdcage (I grew up in San Francisco), "Mork and Mindy," Popeye, Ferngully, Mrs. Doubtfire, Flubber, and so many more.
That's why it really feels like we've lost a family member, because he made so many people happy and has helped raise so many kids through his work, helped so many people find inspiration to be in comedy, writing, filmmaking, TV, and entertainment in general, and was so warm, kind, and friendly to anyone he met, that the impact on a personal level was greater than a lot of the people we actually know in real-life.His work, personality, and heart were so huge that he connected with all of us. So we really did all lose someone with the death of Robin Williams. And we will feel it every day, because he's gone, he gave so much to us, and that's the least we can do.